Michigan Business Leaders Unveil Plan to Become Top 10 State


Michigan has come far after the Great Recession, however to propel the state to become among the Top 10 in the nation, the Business Leaders for Michigan say all Michiganders and elected leaders must come together to focus on improving K-12 education, job training, making college more affordable, and strengthening the state’s infrastructure and fiscal stability.

To achieve this goal, the organization, a roundtable made up of top executives of the state’s largest companies, today unveiled its Plan for a Stronger Michigan, setting sights on maintaining and accelerating the state’s economic turnaround.

“The Plan for a Stronger Michigan reflects the tremendous gains we’ve made, and the challenges and opportunities ahead,” says Blake Krueger, the organization’s board chair and Wolverine Worldwide Inc.’s chairman of the board, CEO and president. “It’s a fact-based action plan that prioritizes the essential steps necessary to transform our state. By focusing on what matters most, we are optimistic that together we can build a strong, prosperous Michigan that works for everyone.”

Krueger says part of the organization’s goals is for Michigan to become a Top 10 state for jobs, personal income, and economic health.

“To put things into perspective, if Michigan were performing like a Top 10 state today, there would be 34,000 more Michiganders employed, and per capita personal income would be $9,500 higher,” says Doug Rothwell, the organization’s president and CEO.

Highlights of the plan include strengthening the state’s fiscal stability by reducing state and local debt, and cost estimates for proposed legislation; improving K-12 education and job training; improving Michigan’s infrastructure; leveraging the state’s assets, especially by capitalizing on the automotive industry; and ensuring the state’s economic development efforts are creating results.

“Our state has worked hard to recover from the darkest days of the Great Recession,” Rothwell says. “While we’ve made great progress to date, we can’t afford to lose sight of what’s happening nationally and how competitive other states and countries are.”

The organization also showcased a campaign called Raise Your Hand for a Stronger Michigan. It is designed to raise awareness and support of the steps needed to make Michigan a Top 10 state and to let voters know how candidates align with the plan.

“Michigan has turned the corner,” Rothwell says. “Now, it’s about building a stronger and better Michigan than ever. Keeping Michigan’s momentum going is something we can all play a role in. We encourage every Michigander to learn more and get involved in shaping our state’s future.” 

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