State to boost efforts for auto industry jobs

Michigan plans to boost efforts to attract and retain automotive industry jobs in engineering and design, software and coding, systems integration and skilled trades, officials said.
AP Wire
Apr 8, 2014

Nigel Francis, the state's senior automotive adviser, this week plans to outline details of a 30-year strategic plan that aims to elevate Michigan's status as a global auto industry leader. As part of the effort, officials said, jobs in Michigan will be a top priority.

"Our focus must be on consolidating our resources to support the needs of Michigan's automotive and manufacturing industries," Francis, senior vice president with the Michigan Automotive Industry Office at the Michigan Economic Development Corp., said in a statement.

"The ongoing challenge is to anticipate and respond to emerging trends, and act with a clear purpose to create meaningful and collaborative solutions for Michigan-based automotive companies."

To start, the plan seeks to strengthen ties between the auto industry and the public sector. It draws on recommendations of group of auto industry consultants.

According to the state, Michigan is home to 65,000 engineers, 70,000 research-and-development professionals and tens of thousands of skilled trade workers. In addition to operations of major automakers, dozens of auto industry parts suppliers are based in the state.

Francis is expected to discuss the plan on Tuesday at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2014 World Congress & Exhibition at Cobo Center in Detroit. The 3-day event runs through Thursday and attracts those involved in areas including engineering, research design, development and marketing.



There is nothing quite as delightful as an election year state emphasis on jobs and economy, after three years of passing laws in the dead of night with no public debate, such as the Right To Work law; focusing on social wedge issues that punish women, such as the Rape Insurance law; laws that actually will add to the state debt, such as the Motorcycle Helmet repeal; or, that increase taxes on senior citizens and tax cuts that benefit Big Business (primarily).

This sounds like a plan that could help Michigan regain and increase it's prominence on the global stage. I hope it moves forward - even after the 2014 elections.

Barry Soetoro

One of the few times I find myself agreeing with you, L. They should all put "D" behind their names including Richard.


"One of the few times I find myself agreeing with you, L." Good Lord a'Mighty, it's a miracle! For being the first poster, if memory serves me correctly, who has the R E S P E C T for Lani's reasoned arguments, I offer this in celebration of Barry Soetero, and to honor another Michigan - and one of my favorite - transnational business legends that has brought much recognition to the state, not to mention revenue....

Barry Soetoro

MM will be disappointed to hear that. Hopefully we can get back to planning that Beer Summit...that's the only immediate goal I have at this point.


Good Point. In terms of MM, I should have qualified my comment by saying, "average poster".


By way of correction Lanivan....there is plenty of things more delightful for our great State since Governor Snyder took over the reins along with Republicans AND even a few Democrats that have helped put Michigan back on track:

* No. 1 for states that recovered most from the Great Recession.
* No. 4 in the nation for most new corporate expansions or building projects in 2012.
* Third most business-friendly tax ranking among the nation’s 12 largest states.
* Third in the nation for high-tech growth.
* Michigan’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in four years.
* Sixth fastest growing economy in the nation in 2011.
* Credit rating upgraded to AA, the first time it’s been above AA- since January 2011.
* Balanced budget two years in a row.
* Chrysler, Ford and GM all gained market share for the first time in 20 years and had their best U.S. sales since 2007.

The State of Michigan now ranks #8 in most competitive State for achieving success in job creation and economic development since Governor Snyder took office. Digging us out of the low of a 45th ranking during Jennifer Granholm's tenure.


In order to be accurate in your assessment of Gov Snyder, you have to go back to the days of Gov Engler. It then becomes very clear what a weak economic state Gov Granholm inherited, and after 8 years of steering the ship of state through a massive decrease in revenues and a blocking legislature, she actually managed, through creative budget cuts and common sense investments, to hand over a $400 million SURPLUS as well as a balanced budget to Snyder, an advantage she did not enjoy when she replaced Engler.

Consider this:

* During her two terms, Granholm had to deal with general fund revenues that had dropped to levels last seen in the early 1990's (or 1960's when adjusted for inflation.

* Engler's Tax cut/Revenue cut policies made it nearly impossible to balance the budget. Granholm began making corrections that stabilized the budget process until 2008, when the global recession/financial crisis took effect.

* State debt under Engler actually increased by $5.7 billion by the time Granholm became Governor. Again, data shows it corrected, stabilized, and then decreased, until the 2008 financial crisis.

* Gov Granholm inherited an entirely depleted Michigan Rainy Day Fund, a victim of Engler's tax cut/revenue cut policies.

* Under Engler, the number of government full-time employees increased; Gov Granholm managed to cut the number of full-time employees by 13%, or 8,200 workers, beginning in her first year in office. AND she received many awards for efficient government policy and services throughout both of her terms.

* The drop in ratings actually started under Engler, when Moody's dropped the "stable" rating down to "negative". Less than 90 days after Granholm took office, S&P also dropped their rating from "stable" to "negative".

Jennifer Granholm did an incredible job of creatively guiding Michigan through eight years of free-falling revenues, political and economic turbulence, and two years of the 2008 severe global financial crisis - and still managed to hand Snyder a budget surplus of $400 million. She is the epitome of a strong, focused, and brilliant woman politician who had the guts to stick with it until the job is done, unlike another woman governor - Gov Sarah Palin - who bailed half-way through when the going got a little tough and she could enjoy far greater wealth by dumping the people of Alaska.

And let us not forget that Granholm won re-election by a landslide - 56% to Devos's 42%.

Between Gov Granholm's leadership and the Obama Auto Bailout, it's not a stretch to anticipate an improved economic climate in Michigan, and the fact that any economic improvement is a direct result of their policies can not be overstated. And, by the way, the high-tech growth is a direct result of Granholms' constant emphasis on state high-tech diversity; Michigan has a state amendment that requires a yearly balanced budget.

Barry Soetoro

It's too bad Jenny is Canadian and can't run for President. Oh, wait a sec...


lol - That's funny Barry! Sad, but funny.

Lan, are you kidding me?….you’re going to blame Govt. Engler, like you blame President Bush to compensate for the complete incompetence of our current President? What you’re really showcasing is the difference between Democrat policies and Republican polices. (Tax cuts for EVERYONE to improve our economy and much smaller Govt. to create growth OR increasing the size of Gubment for the career entitlement demanding pan handlers which kills our economy and the human spirit along with the motivation to better yourself?

When Governor Engler took office in January 1991, Michigan was faced with a $1.8 billion budget deficit. Property taxes were almost 35 percent above the national average and nearly the highest in America. In addition, high business taxes were consistently blamed as a critical factor stifling new investment needed to build or expand factories and create jobs. As a result, unemployment in Michigan had been well above the national average for more than a generation.

Governor Engler's straightforward strategy of cutting taxes(NOT for the wealthy as Democrats constantly scream, but for EVERYONE) to create jobs, pulled Michigan out of its inherited budget deficit and blessed taxpayers with a $1 billion surplus. (Did you hear me Lanivan 1 B as in BILLION!) As part of his "Taxpayer's Agenda" plan to revitalize Michigan, Engler acted aggressively to reduce the tax burden on both families and new businesses. With nine tax cuts enacted in 1995, Michigan taxpayers benefitted (not suffered) from a total of 21 tax cuts since 1991. They include:

1. Cutting school-operating property taxes from an average 36 mills to 6 mills -- the biggest tax cut in Michigan's history ($3.4 billion). Associated with this cut is a cap that keeps assessments from rising more than the rate of inflation.
2. Cutting the personal income tax from 4.6 percent to 4.4 percent -- the lowest level since 1975.
3. Raising the personal exemption for the state income tax and indexing the exemption to rise with inflation.
4. Eliminating the state inheritance tax.
5. Increasing deductions for interest and dividend income for senior citizens.
6. Increasing the maximum single business credit limit on small business income.
7. Revising the apportionment of the Single Business Tax (SBT) base.
8. A 2 percent income tax rebate in order to comply with the Headlee Amendment limitations on government revenue.
9. Creating a limited exemption from the sales tax for commercial advertising.
10. Eliminating from the business tax base the cost of workers' compensation, social security, and unemployment insurance.
11. Phasing out and eliminating the "intangibles tax" -- Michigan's unfair and counterproductive capital gains tax.
12. Virtually eliminating the state tax on private pensions with a $60,000 exemption for married couples and $30,000 for individuals.
13. Reducing the state's main business tax, the Single Business Tax, from 2.35 percent to 2.3 percent.
14. Raising the filing threshold for the SBT from $40,000 to $100,000.
15. Further raising the filing threshold for the SBT from $100,000 to $250,000.
16. Cutting the SBT alternative profits tax from 4 percent to 3 percent.
17. Reducing the SBT alternative profits tax again -- from 3 percent to 2 percent.
18. Reducing the minimum unemployment insurance tax.
19. Changing the definitions of homesteads to provide property tax relief for Michigan farmers.
20. Freezing property tax assessments for one year.
21. Creating a nonrefundable income tax credit for college tuition paid on behalf of a dependent or a taxpayer.

The results for Michigan's economy was more than impressive. In 1994, the state unemployment rate was below the national average for the first time since 1966. Unemployment for every month of 1996 was below 5 percent, putting our great State back on track to end the year with the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.(Granholm was blown in the weeds by these accomplishments) With employment growth of more than 500,000 since 1991, the number of Michigan men and women with jobs reached record highs…..and you’re whining about a rainy day fund and what Granholm inherited as to why she couldn’t function has Governor. Come on, that’s all you got?

Inheriting messes, eh? Shall we talk Reagan’s mess from Carter or continue with Snyder’s mess from Granholm? Let me offer you some advice…”Never bring a knife to a gun fight.” (Figuratively, of course)

What I have just illustrated to you Lan is simply, Conservative principles that work and Liberal principles that do not. Look at every bankrupt city or municipality in America and you will find every single one was governed by Democrats and Liberal policies…..EVERY-SINGLE-ONE!


Thank you for your advice, I will take it under consideration, now and in future. And now may I offer my own piece of advice to you? Don't bring a gun to a knife fight. Dude - you need to chill. I'm serious.

#1. You challenge me to a duel regarding Snyder's performance, waxing lyrical about the mess he inherited from Granholm and how far he and his Merry Band of Men in Tights have saved Michigan from the marauding pillagers.

#2. I concisely, using facts and figures, point out that in fact, things were heading south in the final years of Engler's final term; that his policies had dried up revenue just when the state (and country) suffered a small recession in 2000 - the bubble. The stock market tanked, and the auto industry was beginning to be seriously outpaced by the Japanese. In other words, the state debt was climbing, and Granholm inherited a government that was in debt, with rapidly increasing deficits, and decreasing revenues. You simply can't badger the fact away that when Granholm left office, unlike in 2002, she handed Snyder a budget surplus, and a state that was slowly climbing out from a severe financial crisis caused by the Bush Great Recession. I repeat: Without her shrewd leadership and Obama's Auto Bailout, Snyder would have had a much harder road to hoe.

Besides being terribly simplistic and highly biased, you are also inaccurate. For example, your allegation regarding bankrupt cities:

Of the seven largest cities to file for bankruptcy, 3 are Republican cities - #1 Stockton, CA, #4 Harrisburg, PA, #5 Pritchard, AL.

It's never as black and white as you would like it to be.



*Senate………..Cathleen Galgiani (D)
*Assembly……..Joan Buchanan (D) Susan Talamantes Eggman (D)


*Mayor……Eric R Papenfuse (D)
*City Controller……Daniel C. Miller (D)
*State Senate………Rob Teplitz (D)
*State Representative…….Ron Buxton (D)


*Mayor……Troy Ephriam (D)
*District 1…………..Lorenzo Martin (D)
*District 2…………..Earline Martin-Harris (D)
*District 3……………Derrick Griffin (D)
*District 4……………George McCall (D)
*District 5…………..Ossia Edwards (D)

Lanivan, sometimes I wonder if you are getting enough sleep, as it's never as colorful as you would like it to be in trying to debate the d-yankee.


Ooohhhh - you really got me good, dyankee!!!....Not.

First of all - Stockton, CA. Like all of the cities, the problems contributing to bankruptcies were varied, complex, influenced by local and federal economies, and under both Republican and Democratic control. "The river port city of 290,000 in Central California has seen its property taxes and other revenues decline, while expensive investments and generous retiree benefits drained city coffers.

In the past three years, officials in the city that was slammed by the collapse of the housing market dealt with $90 million in deficits through a series of drastic cuts.

They eliminated one-fourth of the city's police officers, one-third of the fire staff, and 40 percent of all other employees. They also cut wages and medical benefits".

And Alabama, like most of the southern states, was solid Dem until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when the state turned solid Repub, and hasn't budged much since. Again, the problems in Alabama - Pritchard and Jefferson County - are varied, complex, and with enough blame to spread around to everybody.

But I know blaming liberals for all the ills in the country offers immediate gratification, so I hold zip hope you'll open your mind a smidge to reality. Well, this is making me sleepy - nitey-nite!


First step, repeal Right to work law. Second step encourage clean energy cars. Third step encourage plants spread all over Michigan.


Fourth step with this plan is to file for bankruptcy to stop the bleeding. You can only spread plants all over Michigan by making it profitable for companies to do so.


fourth step: fall off the cliff AGAIN.


You make a good point. Hopefully, we'll be smarter this time around.


Sorry Truth, for stepping on you. Didn't see your comment, but you beat me to the punch. Your absolutely correct in your statement.


Diversity! Encourage other industries, not just the auto industry!


Growing automotive industry and skilled trades and how to boost - and is it even possible now? Not sure. Here is some history with some facts on Grand Haven's industry. What made Grand Haven great in the past in the 1980's? Lets pick on Shape Corp. In the 1980's skilled trades apprentices were beating down the doors and begging to get into Shape when it was under 100 employees. Why? Simple - The owner put a beer keg in the tool room as a reward for a good profitable quarter. Owner handed out $100 and $500 dollar bill cash bonuses. Owner had steaks cooked up in the tool room on Fridays and everyone could leave at noon and enjoy a happy weekend. Opening day of bass season, deer seasons were like religious holidays and you could have it off. In some cases guys took the whole 15 day deer season off! 40 hours was the norm - and if you worked overtime you were thanked, appreciated and given extra time off after a product line was launched. THAT ALL STOPPED NOW IN 2014. Shops are now sweat shops, employees treated like garbage, shops are now Wall Street bureaucracies now. CEO's are never around to shake workers and thanked. Want to grow your tool and die shop? put a beer keg in the tool and return to the 1980's. Otherwise just fold up because ya won't find good help anymore, they don't want to be treated like organic robots. And they wonder why and cry and moan why they can't find young people to go into skilled trades.


Hourly workers at the Johnson Controls plant in Holland make 5% less than they did 10 years ago. Bonuses were slashed to 1-2% from 8-10%. 401k matches took same path. Pensions were eliminated. When Prince sold to Johnson Controls all went south. Literally. Best to find a family owned company who are as loyal to you as you are to them.


Find four alike people and start your own business. Help the world and stop the whining.


Perhaps as far as the auto employment other than engineers they need to hire a few hundred to evaluate the auto claims due to faulty engineering.

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