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Updated: 32 weeks 6 days ago

Radio Address: Legacy

Fri, 12/17/2010 - 2:49pm

In her final radio address, Governor Granholm takes a look at the accomplishments that her administration has achieved over the past eight years.

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm, and this is my final radio address.

I want to thank you, our citizens, for believing in Michigan during this incredibly challenging decade. Through these radio addresses, I’ve talked about how we’ve worked to diversify our economy, educate our children, and protect our citizens as we transition from an old Michigan economy to a new one.

Let me tell you a little bit more.

My administration’s record includes nearly 4,000 economic development projects, the creation or retention of 653,000 jobs, and diversification into sectors like clean energy.

We’ve changed our education system to ensure that every child takes a college prep curriculum. Test scores have risen, dropout rates are declining, and we now have record college enrollment. We’ve completely restructured workforce training through No Worker Left Behind, and more than 147,000 adults have enrolled.

So despite the very tough times, Michigan has made progress over these past eight years – but don’t just take my word for it.

Here’s what independent evaluators have said:

The National Association of State Budget Officers found that during this decade, Michigan cut a greater percentage from government than any other state in the country. Michigan was named one of the best-managed states in 2006 and 2008 by Governing magazine and the Pew Center on the States.

And, according to the State Budget Office, my administration will leave the Snyder administration, a $400 million budget surplus.

Site Selection magazine, which annually ranks the business attraction efforts of all states, found that over the past two years, Michigan is one of the top three states in the nation for attracting new business expansions.

And the non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency reported that Michigan’s business and individual tax burden dropped this decade more than any other state in the nation.

Since 2005, when higher education standards were adopted, Michigan’s math and reading test scores have risen every year in every grade, according to the Center for Educational Performance and Information.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that Michigan is second among all states in children with health insurance, and despite the tough economy, no Michigan citizen was cut off from health care.

I’m proud of the work that we’ve done to lay the foundation for a new Michigan economy, and I’m proud we accomplished 80% of the initiatives proposed in my eight State of the State Addresses.

We’re a more economically diverse state, and a far better educated state than we were at the turn of this century. And while we still have work to do, I am confident that the people of Michigan are up to the challenge.

Happy holidays. God bless you all, and God bless our beautiful state.

The Michigan 2010 Foundation put together a “Living Portrait” to highlight the Governor’s accomplishments, take a look below:

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Granholm Signs Next Michigan Legislative Package at Detroit Metro Airport

Wed, 12/15/2010 - 5:24pm

News out of Detroit today:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed the six-bill Next Michigan legislative package into law in the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The Michigan House and Senate passed the legislation earlier this month with strong bipartisan support.

“This legislation allows the leveraging of one of our state’s greatest assets — the Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run airport corridor — to attract businesses and create tens of thousands of jobs in southeast Michigan,” Granholm said. “It also enables communities in other regions of the state to band together to stimulate economic development around the transportation assets in their areas.”

The Next Michigan legislation permits the designation of up to five regional entities across the state called Next Michigan Development Corporations. These regional entities will be able to offer economic incentives to businesses that rely on multimodal commerce to locate near major transportation facilities such as airports.

The nine communities surrounding Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports already have signed an interlocal agreement to be part of the Aerotropolis Development Corporation (ADC). With the new enabling legislation, the ADC now will be able to focus on maximizing the economic potential of Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports and the surrounding areas. An independent study commissioned by Business Leaders for Michigan estimates the Aerotropolis project could draw $10 billion in economic investment and create 64,000 jobs.

“This is about jobs, jobs, jobs and getting people back to work,” said Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano. “Today makes things official, giving the Aerotropolis Development Corporation the ability to move forward. I want to commend and thank the legislature for seeing the importance of this legislation as well as the governor for signing it into law. Next Michigan is pivotal in continuing regional collaboration and elevating Michigan as a great place to do business.”

A Next Michigan Development Corporation can establish up to 12 Renaissance Zones based on the number of participants in an interlocal agreement. Each zone may be up to 200 acres in size. The maximum number of eligible businesses that can qualify for Renaissance Zone benefits statewide is 25.

The bills signed by the governor today are House Bill 5346, sponsored by State Representative Douglas Geiss (D-Taylor); House Bill 5347, sponsored by State Representative Pam Byrnes (D-Lyndon Township); House Bill 5349, sponsored by State Representative John Walsh (R-Livonia); Senate Bill 1079, sponsored by State Senator Randy Richardville (R-Monroe); Senate Bill 1082, sponsored by State Senator Mark C. Jansen (R-Gaines Township), and Senate Bill 1084, sponsored by State Senator Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit).

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Granholm Signs Legislation to Fund Pure Michigan Campaign

Wed, 12/15/2010 - 1:37pm

From the Governor’s Office:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has signed legislation transferring $10 million from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to pay for the successful Pure Michigan advertising campaign. The money is in addition to the $5.4 million allotted for the tourism campaign in the fiscal year 2011 budget. The money will help pay for winter and spring/summer ad campaigns.

“The Pure Michigan ad campaign has been a proven success – bringing visitors to Michigan, supporting local businesses, creating jobs and generating genuine excitement in the tourism industry,” Granholm said. “The funding allows us to advertise Michigan’s wealth of winter activities to potential visitors from Chicago and other key out-of-state markets in Ohio and Indiana.”

Since its launch in 2006, the Pure Michigan campaign has been recognized for its creativity and effectiveness, including being listed by Forbes in 2009 as one of the ten best tourism promotion campaigns ever created worldwide. Pure Michigan was recognized in 2007 by the U.S. Travel Association as the Best State Tourism Advertising Campaign. In August 2010, USA Today did a front-page feature story on state tourism branding and advertising which showcased Pure Michigan as the primary success story.

More importantly, according to independent research, Pure Michigan has produced results for Michigan businesses and the state of Michigan. According to a four-year study of Pure Michigan out-of-state summer advertising from 2006 to 2009, that advertising brought 5 million new out-of-state visitors to Michigan during that four year period; visitors who spent $1.3 billion at Michigan businesses and paid $93 million in Michigan taxes, primarily state sales tax. In fact, for each dollar invested in Pure Michigan advertising, the state got back $2.94 in new, incremental taxes paid by these out-of-state visitors.

Michigan’s tourism industry is a vital component of the economy. Visitors to the state spend $15.1 billion annually traveling in Michigan, generating $850 million in state taxes and supporting 142,500 jobs for Michigan residents.

The legislation signed is now Public Act 271 of 2010.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Granholm Signs Small Business Investment Credit, Environmental Cleanup Legislation

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 6:11pm

From the Governor’s Office:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed nine bills into law creating a new tax incentive to spur investment in small businesses and streamlining the environmental regulatory process. The new laws provide additional economic incentives to help the state attract and grow jobs.

First announced in the governor’s 2010 State of the State address, the new so-called angel tax credit adds to the state’s aggressive economic development efforts to foster job creation by helping small businesses grow. The bill, sponsored by Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods), creates an investment credit that would allow a taxpayer to claim an income tax credit worth 25 percent of an investment in a qualified small business. In order to receive the credit, the investment would have to be at least $20,000 and be certified by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF). The MSF can certify up to $9 million in credits in a single year, with up to $250,000 for each small business.

“Increasing access to capital is a major component of our strategy to diversify our economy and create jobs,” Granholm said. “This legislation moves Michigan forward by encouraging new investment in companies that are critical to our economic vitality. We continue to work to improve our business climate to help entrepreneurs and innovators future here, and the legislature deserves praise for taking swift, bipartisan action to help us do that.”

Granholm also signed an eight bill package that will streamline the regulatory process for environmental cleanups and encourage a greater number of liable parties to bring contaminated properties, known as brownfields, into environmental compliance. The legislation is expected to contribute to the state’s economic recovery and the vitality of Michigan communities, especially in older urban centers.

“Michigan has a nationally respected brownfield clean-up and redevelopment program,” Granholm said. “This new legislation will continue to improve the program and increase Michigan’s competitive edge by streamlining the regulatory process and facilitating the economical re-use and redevelopment of vacant commercial and industrial sites. We are proud today to continue our push toward strengthening Michigan cities through clean, environmentally sound development.”

Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Michigan’s primary statute governing environmental cleanup, was enacted in 1995. The state program has a unique, causation-based liability scheme, land use based cleanup requirements, and a strong emphasis on redevelopment and reuse of contaminated property. Over 14,000 Baseline Environmental Assessments have been conducted under the existing program on potentially contaminated properties, facilitating the sale and re-use of these properties. These amendments will align Michigan’s process with the current federal requirements for liability protection, encouraging even more property transactions.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment oversees and manages cleanup activities to protect public health and the environment. Response actions include mitigating threats of harmful chemical releases, leaking gasoline and oil tanks, abandoned containers/drums, and fire/explosion hazards. Many properties are “orphan” sites where the property has been abandoned or tax reverted and liable parties are not available to properly cleanup the environmental problems caused by their operations. The DNRE has spent over $927 million at 1,800 orphan sites to cleanup and prepare them for redevelopment.

The amendments to Part 201 were supported by the communities and environmental professionals, with the intent of ramping up the re-use of older industrial and commercial properties by improving the regulatory process and providing some much needed funding for the program. The program was primarily supported in the past with revenue from the 1988 Quality of Life Bond and the 1998 Clean Michigan Initiative. These funding sources are essentially exhausted, requiring the department to prioritize current operations at existing sites of environmental contamination, and develop a plan to cease future operations.

“We believe this legislation will accelerate the timeframes involved in cleaning up contaminated properties,” Granholm said. “I applaud the leadership of our legislature and our many partners within the environmental community, as well as the DNRE for working tirelessly to get these bills signed into law.”

The bills signed today were: SB 1345 sponsored by Patty Birkholz (R-Saugatuck Twp.), SB 1346 sponsored by Alan Sanborn (R-Richmond Twp.), SB 1348 sponsored by John Gleason (D-Flushing), SB 1443 sponsored by Jud Gilbert (R-Algonac), HB 6359 sponsored by Ed Clemente (D-Lincoln Park), HB 6360 sponsored by Woodrow Stanley (D-Flint), HB 6363 sponsored by Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy), and HB 6416 sponsored by Marty Griffin (D-Jackson). House Bill 5921 was sponsored by Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods).

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Brownfield Redevelopments, Business Expansions Mean 2,997 Jobs in Michigan

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 4:21pm

From the Governor’s Office and the MEDC:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is supporting 11 brownfield redevelopment projects in Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Hamtramck, which will generate over $406 million in new investment and create and retain 1,401 jobs. The MEDC is also helping six companies grow, with $69.6 million in new private investment that is projected to create 1,596 total new jobs in the state.

“The brownfield redevelopment projects announced today are the latest examples of Michigan’s efforts to repurpose blighted, contaminated or functionally obsolete properties across the state,” Granholm said. “These incentives will spur redevelopment of properties that have often been underutilized for years, transforming our urban centers and fueling growth in communities across the state. At the same time, these incentives help companies to create new job opportunities as they expand in Michigan.”

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board today approved incentives to win the following projects for Michigan over competing states and countries:

Force by Design – The new-to-Michigan technical services company that provides cloud-computing solutions plans to invest $430,000 to establish a new office in East Lansing to service underdeveloped markets and provide enterprise computing services through salesforce.com. The company is expected to create up to 90 total jobs, including 50 directly by the company. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project may create an additional 40 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $230,985 over three years to convince the company to locate in Michigan over competing sites in California and Pennsylvania. The city of East Lansing is considering an abatement in support of the project. In addition, the company is pursuing training programs through Michigan New Jobs Training Program at Lansing Community College.

Otto Bock Polyurethane Technologies Inc. – The German-based company, a global leader in orthopedic applications and special polyurethane applications in the automotive and furniture sectors, plans to invest $13.3 million in a facility in Rochester Hills to produce polyurethane parts. The project is expected to create up to 233 total jobs, including 98 directly at the company. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by this project has the potential to create an additional 135 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $671,656 over five years to convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Pennsylvania. The city of Rochester Hills is considering an abatement in support of the project.

Piston Automotive LLC – The tier one automotive supplier of primarily chassis and interior parts plans to invest $15 million to expand in Redford to do chassis work and manufacture electric batteries. The project is expected to create up to 467 total jobs, including 135 directly at the company. The MEDC estimates increased economic activity created by the project has the potential to retain an additional 332 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $889,293 over five years to convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Kentucky. The cities of Redford and Detroit are considering abatements in support of the project.

Plasan Carbon Composites Inc. – The manufacturer of carbon composite automotive components plans to invest $3.2 million to open a Customer and Technical Development Center in Wixom. The project is expected to create up to 78 total jobs, including 36 directly at the company. The MEDC estimates increased economic activity created by the project has the potential to create an additional 42 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $697,007 over seven years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Tennessee. The city of Wixom is considering an abatement in support of the project.

Ring Screw LLC (Acument Global Technologies) – The producer of mechanical fastening products and services for transportation markets plans to invest $5.1 million to expand its facilities in Fenton, Grand Blanc Township and Sterling Heights and retain its headquarters in Michigan. The project is expected to create up to 263 total jobs, including 150 directly at the company. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by this project has the potential to create an additional 113 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $874,651 over five years to encourage the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Mexico. The cities of Fenton and Sterling Heights, and Grand Blanc Township are considering abatements in support of the project.

• 20 Monroe Building Company – A state brownfield credit valued at $4.5 million will support the construction of a four story, mixed-use space in Grand Rapids connected to the B.O.B., a four-story restaurant and night club. The new space will accommodate concerts and festivals, as well as retail and hotel condo suites. The project will generate $24.1 million in new private investment and create 94 jobs.

• 38 Front Redevelopment LLC – The developer plans to utilize a state brownfield credit valued at $8 million to demolish the existing vacant building and construct the Seidman School of Business and Center for Entrepreneurship at 38 Front Avenue SW in Grand Rapids. The Center will bring various business development and training resources under one roof to meet West Michigan’s executive, corporate, and educational certification needs. The project will also include three stories of mixed-use space and will house Grand Valley State University’s business school. The project will generate $51 million in new private investment and create 165 jobs.

• 3800 Woodward – A state brownfield credit valued at $10 million will support a project to demolish a functionally obsolete medical center at 3800 Woodward Avenue in Detroit. The project includes a 15,000-square-foot, single-story retail center, a mixed-use medical office building and a 1,000-space parking garage. The project will generate $83.5 million in new private investment and create 155 jobs.

• City of Hamtramck – State and local tax capture valued at $116,000 will support a brownfield project to redevelop a four-story commercial building on Joseph Campau. The project includes significant interior demolition to repurpose an old furniture showroom and warehouse into a mixed-use commercial and residential building. The first floor will feature a restaurant. The project is expected to generate up to $1.6 million in new private investment and create up to 18 new jobs.

• City of Lansing – State and local tax capture valued at $6.7 million will support a brownfield project to redevelop a vacant site on approximately 3.64 acres located at North Cedar Street and East Shiawassee Street., adjacent to the New Lansing City Market. The project includes residential housing along with a mix of uses possibly including retail, entertainment, and office space. The project is expected to generate up to $23.1 million in new private investment and create up to 30 new jobs.

• Emerald Springs IA and IB LDHA LP – A state brownfield credit valued at $2.3 million will support a multi-phase project that will redevelop the former public housing site historically known as Charles Terrace, located at 5825 Emerald Springs Circle in Detroit. The project includes construction of 158 new housing units in a mixture of single family, duplex, and townhome units. Of the 158 units, all will be financed with low-income housing tax credits, and 75 of the 158 will be public housing units. The project will generate $33.1 million from new private investment and create five jobs. The project will also receive funding and a loan from the Detroit Housing Commission.

• Free Press Holdings LLC – A state brownfield credit valued at $10 million, along with state and local tax capture valued at $442,989 will support a project that will renovate the former Detroit Free Press office and printing facility into a mixed-use retail, commercial and residential complex located at 321 W. Lafayette in Detroit. When complete, the project will feature approximately 23,000 square feet of first-floor retail and restaurant space and 27,000 square feet of commercial office space on the second floor. The third through thirteenth floors will be configured from office space to apartments. The basement, which once housed industrial printing equipment, will be repurposed for parking. The project will generate $73.2 million in new private investment and create 211 new jobs.

• Grand Rapids Urban Market Holdings LLC – A state brownfield credit valued at $5.4 million will support the renovation of a series of interconnected former warehouse buildings on Ionia Avenue SW and Logan Street SW. The project will include indoor areas for multi-vendor, year-round fresh food market, space for an outdoor farmer’s market, restaurants, educational facilities, food processing, a rooftop greenhouse and other mixed-use components. The project will generate $31 million in new private investment and create 290 jobs.

• Lurvey White Ventures LLC – A state brownfield credit valued at $5.6 million will support a project to redevelop the Michigan School for the Deaf, located in Flint for over 100 years. This project, which shares a campus with Powers High School, will result in 260,000 square feet of new construction. Because of its age, extensive work is needed on the infrastructure, HVAC, underground utilities and electrical systems in addition to extensive renovation and restoration work on the buildings. Without these renovations, the Michigan School for the Deaf faces closure. The project will generate $32.8 Million in new private investment, retain 187 Jobs and create 10 new jobs.

• Sugar Hill Residential LLC – A state brownfield credit valued at $2.4 million will support a multi-phase project to redevelop blighted property on four vacant parcels on Garfield Street in Detroit. The project entails construction of a five-story residential building with a parking structure and first-floor arts-related commercial space. The project will generate $16.2 million in new private investment and create 36 jobs.

• The Knapp Centre – A state brownfield credit valued at $4.8 million will support the historic redevelopment of the former Knapp’s Department Store building, a five story, 175,000 building located at 300 S. Washington in downtown Lansing. The new Knapp’s Centre will convert the first four floors and mezzanine of the former department store into a mix of 100,895 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space. The fifth floor will be transformed into 21 residential units. Already, portions of the first floor and mezzanine have been dedicated to the Lansing Economic Development Corporation’s new business incubator program. The project is expected to generate $36.4 million in new private investment and create 200 jobs.

Autocam Corporation – The leading independent manufacturer of high volume, precision-machined specialty alloy components for the transportation and medical device sectors plans to amend a Standard MEGA incentive it received in June 1997 to expand manufacturing operations in Kentwood to produce next-generation components to be used in new fuel-saving technologies and various ophthalmic, orthopedic and cardiovascular applications. The company plans to invest an additional $32.6 million and create 200 direct. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by this project has the potential to create an additional 265 indirect jobs, for a total of 465 new jobs. This investment and additional jobs are dependent upon the development of a successful, competitive business case.

“These projects demonstrate the spirit of public-private collaboration is alive in Michigan,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. “Communities across the state are making strong business cases to win investment and jobs from the world’s most innovative companies over competing locations not only in the United States, but all over the world.”

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority, the state’s response to interstate competition for company expansions and relocations, may provide a refundable tax credit against the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) to companies expanding or relocating their operations in Michigan. Since January 2010, more than 330,000 new and retained jobs have been announced as a result of the MEGA, brownfield and additional incentive programs.

Michigan brownfield programs provide incentives to invest in property that has been used for industrial, commercial or residential purposes and to keep that property in productive use or return it to productive use. Brownfield incentives can be used for functionally obsolete, blighted or contaminated property.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.

For more information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit the website at www.MichiganAdvantage.org.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Granholm, Governor-elect Snyder Announce Economic Development Transition Plans

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 2:44pm

Announced yesterday:

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Governor-elect Rick Snyder, in an unprecedented sign of cooperation between incoming and outgoing administrations, today announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) - the state’s economic development agency - will be governed in 2011 by a new leadership team that includes appointees of both the incoming and outgoing governors.

In announcing the economic development transition plan, Governor-elect Snyder also announced that the new MEDC Executive Committee has agreed to select Michael Finney as the new CEO of the MEDC. Finney is currently president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, a public-private partnership focused on innovation-based economic development in the greater Ann Arbor region co-founded by Snyder.

“Over the past eight years we have laid the foundation for a new Michigan economy,” Granholm said. “We put in place the most aggressive economic development program to diversify Michigan’s economy that has resulted in more than $57 billion in private investment, nearly 4,000 economic development projects and the creation or retention of 653,000 jobs. And while our work is far from finished, it’s time to pass the torch to Governor-elect Snyder who shares my commitment to diversifying Michigan’s economy and creating jobs.”

Snyder, who was the first person to chair the MEDC Executive Committee when the group was formed in 1999, said economic development is his passion and Finney is the right person to lead the MEDC going forward.

“Economic development and job creation are top priorities of my administration,” Snyder said. “The hard truth is we need to take a different approach when it comes to economic development and I have spent my career creating jobs and environments where businesses can flourish. I have said before we can’t simply ‘fix’ Michigan, we need to ‘reinvent’ Michigan. Mike Finney understands this urgency and will effectively lead the new team at the MEDC so we can take Michigan into an era of innovation.”

“I look forward to working with Governor-elect Snyder, the business community, the MEDC Executive Committee, our academic institutions and our regional economic development partners to tell the Michigan story to the companies and talent that we will work to attract and retain in Michigan,” Finney said.

Prior to joining Ann Arbor SPARK, Finney served as president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise in Rochester, New York. He also served as vice president, emerging business sectors, of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Finney serves on the board of directors for the State Science & Technology Institute and is a past board member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association. He is a member of the Life Sciences Institute and Technology Transfer National Advisory councils at the University of Michigan. Additionally, he is a trustee for the Washtenaw Community College Foundation and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. Finney earned a master of arts degree from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Saginaw Valley State University.

In addition to tapping Finney to lead the MEDC, Snyder along with Granholm announced appointments to a new executive committee that will oversee the agency beginning in January. The current executive committee members have tendered their resignations effective December 31, 2010.

Snyder’s appointments include:

* Christopher Rizik, CEO and fund manager of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
* Lizabeth Ardisana, CEO of ASG Renaissance
* Greg Northrup, president of the West Michigan Strategic Alliance
* John Rakolta Jr., chairman and CEO of Walbridge
* Kirk Lewis, group executive for corporate and civic affairs for the city of Detroit
* Stephen R. D’Arcy, chairman of Detroit Medical Center and Partner Quantum Group LLC
* Stephen Forrest, vice president for research at the University of Michigan
* Robert Collier, president and CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations
* David Armstrong, president and CEO of Greenstone Farm Credit Services
* Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders of Michigan

Snyder announced that the new Executive Committee will designate Rothwell, a former CEO of the MEDC, as chair of the MEDC Executive Committee.

Granholm’s appointments to the MEDC board, which will be filed later this month and be effective January 1, 2011, include:

* Mary Lou Benecke, vice president of public affairs and corporate communications for Dow Corning
* D. Jeffrey Noel, vice president of communications and public affairs for Whirlpool Corporation
* Dr. Marilyn Schlack, president of Kalamazoo Valley Community College
* Chris MacInnes, chief operating officer of Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa
* Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Sakti3 (reappointment)
* Jeff Metts, president of Dowding Industries (reappointment)
* Thomas F. Lewand, partner at Bodman LLP (reappointment)
* John W. Brown, chairman emeritus, Stryker Corporation (reappointment)
* Haifa Fakhouri, president and CEO of the Arab American and Chaldean Council (reappointment)
* Dayne Walling, mayor of Flint (reappointment)

Categories: Michigan Headlines

WXYZ Video: One-on-One with Governor Granholm

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 7:03am

WXYZ’s Stephen Clark sits down with the Governor to reflect on the past eight years, and explore the many ways we have laid the foundation for a new economy to grow in Michigan.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Radio Address: Wind Manufacturing Creating Jobs, Diversifying Economy

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 1:45pm

In this week’s radio address, Governor Granholm today said developing Michigan’s wind manufacturing sector is part of continuing efforts to diversify the state’s economy and create jobs.

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Wind power can create both electricity and jobs. This week I was pleased to announce an agreement between Consumers Energy and Heritage Sustainable Energy that’s going to lead to the first large-scale production of utility-scale wind turbines fully assembled in Michigan.

Heritage Sustainable Energy, which is based in Traverse City, is going to build a wind farm in Delta County in the Upper Peninsula that’ll create 80 jobs. Heritage will then sell the power it generates to Consumers Energy.

The wind turbines for the wind farm will be built by Northern Power Systems at its Saginaw facility where it’ll increase its workforce to 137 over the next four years. Northern Power plans to use many Michigan suppliers for wind turbine components.

Developing Michigan’s wind manufacturing sector is part of our continuing efforts to diversify the state’s economy and create jobs. Making wind turbines is a natural for Michigan given our expertise in advanced manufacturing and the many auto suppliers who are looking to diversify into other lines of business.

We’ve been able to help Michigan businesses diversify into high-growth, clean energy industries through the state’s Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing program. That program, which is funded by the federal Recovery Act, has allowed us to provide grants to Michigan companies to invest in wind, solar and other clean energy manufacturing.

An example is Merrill Technologies Group which will be a supplier to Northern Power to make those big wind turbines. A year ago Merrill was awarded a $3 million grant through the Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing program to purchase some of the equipment needed to build large-scale wind turbines. Merrill has since created an entire supply chain of Michigan companies to manufacture turbine components.

The results are a new investment in Michigan, new clean energy jobs and a more diversified state economy. Plus, the development of clean, renewable energy that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Wind manufacturing is growing in Michigan. Right now there are 17 wind manufacturing companies in the state, which represent $270 million in investment and more than 5,600 jobs.

And further job growth is on the horizon. This is just the beginning. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan is projected to create more than 30,000 jobs in the wind manufacturing sector alone by the year 2030.

The agreement announced this week between Consumers Energy and Heritage Sustainable Energy helps to solidify Michigan’s emerging leadership in wind manufacturing. Demand will soon pick up for wind turbines. And when it does, Michigan will be one of the best-positioned states in the country to take advantage of it.

Thank you for listening.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Granholm Statement on President Obama’s Efforts to Defend Middle Class

Wed, 12/08/2010 - 6:23pm

From the Governor’s Office:

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today reiterated her support for a compromise reached by President Obama and members of Congress to extend unemployment insurance, tax cuts for working families, and other business incentives.

“The President has taken a pragmatic approach that will provide Michigan’s working families the relief they need during these difficult economic times,” Granholm said. “Without an extension of unemployment benefits, more than 181,000 Michigan residents would exhaust their benefits by the end of April.”

The governor encouraged Congress to work quickly to approve the framework, which includes the following benefits to families and businesses:

• A 13-month extension of unemployment benefits;

• An extension of existing middle class tax cuts;

• An additional two percent payroll tax cut for working people for one year;

• An extension of the earned income tax credit; and

• Allow businesses to expense all investments made in 2011, as well as a two-year extension of the R&D tax credit.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Granholm Announces First Large-Scale Michigan Wind Turbine Manufacturing

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 1:51pm

Excellent news today concerning our green energy economy:

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a significant power purchase agreement between Consumers Energy and Traverse City-based Heritage Sustainable Energy that will result in the first large-scale production of utility-scale wind turbines fully made in Michigan. The agreement was celebrated today by the parties, together with wind turbine manufacturer Northern Power Systems and key supplier Merrill Technologies Group, at a press conference in Lansing.

“Development of the wind energy sector is a key piece of Michigan’s strategy to diversify our economy and create clean energy jobs,” said Governor Granholm. “The agreement announced today helps to solidify the state’s emerging leadership in this industry.”

Northern Power Systems will build the direct drive wind turbines in its Saginaw, Michigan facility where it will employ up to 137 workers by 2014. The company also plans to use substantial supply chain resources in Michigan, including strategic supplier Merrill Technologies Group. The turbines will be shipped to Heritage Sustainable Energy’s wind farm located in the Upper Peninsula’s Garden Peninsula where 80 direct and indirect jobs will be created to support the project development, installation, and operation phases. Heritage Sustainable Energy will then sell the power it generates to Consumers Energy.

“We now have an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) planning to produce a significant number of top-of-the-line, utility-scale turbines right here in Michigan,” said Andrew S. Levin, Acting Director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG). “This deal is packed full of potential jobs – manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, technician jobs – and it will help reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved the Power Purchase Agreement for Consumers Energy Company and Heritage Garden Wind Farm on November 19, 2010, and on the same date approved another Power Purchase Agreement between Consumers Energy and Heritage Sustainable Energy for another Michigan wind farm. The Power Purchase Agreement contracts are for 28.6 megawatts (MW) and 12.3 MW, respectively. Heritage Garden will be constructed in Delta County; Heritage Stoney Corners II will be constructed in Missaukee and Osceola counties.

Granholm signed the renewable energy standard into law in October 2008 as a part of a comprehensive energy package. The standard calls for 10 percent of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2015.

“Consumers Energy is expanding its renewable energy portfolio as part of a long-term strategy to provide value to its 1.8 million electric customers with a balanced energy strategy. We’re making substantial investments in new renewable energy resources so we’ll be able to provide more ‘green’ energy to our customers, help the state’s environment, and create jobs at the same time,” said John Russell, president and chief executive officer of Consumers Energy.

“The Heritage Garden Wind Farm project exemplifies all of the intended goals of the state’s renewable energy standard: Michigan-based renewable energy generation supplied to Michigan utilities, investment in local economies via job creation, material purchases and an enhanced tax base; and investment in Michigan technology and manufacturing. Heritage Sustainable Energy is proud to be a leader in utility-scale wind farm development right here in our own backyard,” said Martin Lagina, president and chief executive officer of Heritage Sustainable Energy and native son of Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Granholm has long realized that wind energy presents a great opportunity to build on Michigan’s advanced manufacturing expertise. Granholm used federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) funds to help Michigan businesses diversify into high-growth, clean-energy industries through the Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing (CEAM) program. Merrill Technologies Group was awarded $3 million through the program to purchase some of the equipment necessary for the manufacturing of large-scale wind turbines. During the last year, Merrill has created a supply chain of Michigan companies to manufacture turbine components, and is investing in full-scale production for other projects. The CEAM dollars provided an incentive for private investment by Michigan companies.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan is projected to create more than 30,000 jobs in the wind manufacturing sector alone. Research by DELEG indicates the state could potentially generate 16,564 MW of power on land, and an additional 448,756 MW offshore. Many of the challenges of traditional offshore wind, such as tides, strong currents and saltwater, do not exist in the Great Lakes.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Encourages Michigan Residents to Fly Flags Half-Staff Tuesday in Honor of Pearl Harbor Day

Tue, 12/07/2010 - 7:15am

From the Governor’s Office:

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today encouraged Michigan citizens across the state to observe Pearl Harbor Day on Tuesday, December 7, by lowering flags to half-staff and remembering those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. Flags should be returned to full-staff Wednesday, December 8.

“On Pearl Harbor Day, we honor the lives lost in the attack 69 years ago and remember that today we enjoy freedom thanks to those supreme sacrifices,” Granholm said. “We also salute the brave men and women currently stationed around the world, including those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, who are defending and protecting the freedom our nation holds so dear.”

In December 2005, Granholm signed Executive Order 2005-27 ordering the flag of the United States of America be flown half-staff on all state buildings and facilities throughout Michigan on Pearl Harbor Day each December 7. Procedures for flag lowering, including on Pearl Harbor Day, were detailed by Governor Granholm in Executive Order 2006-10. The Legislature officially recognized the sacrifice of the servicemen and servicewomen who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor by enacting Public Act 157 of 2000, which declares that December 7 of each year be known as Pearl Harbor Day in the state.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Armed Forces of the United State of America stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, were attacked by the air and naval forces of Imperial Japan. The attack claimed the lives of 2,334 servicemen and servicewomen and wounded another 1,143.

When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the United States flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Granholm Celebrates Rebirth of Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 9:55pm

A celebration in Sterling Heights today:

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today visited Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) to celebrate the company’s $850 million investment that will modernize the facility. The governor played an instrumental role in preventing the plant from closing, saving a total of 2,150 jobs when counting the 900 second-shift jobs that will begin in 2011.

“The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant strengthens Michigan’s position as the North American capital of the auto industry,” Granholm said. “Chrysler is investing in Michigan and the future of the American auto industry by bringing together world-class products and a top-flight workforce right here in Sterling Heights.”

Originally SHAP was to close down by the end of this year. With the governor leading the effort to provide Chrysler with state and local tax incentives, the company decided to keep SHAP open. The company’s new investment in SHAP includes construction of a three-story paint facility.

Today Chrysler is launching the Chrysler 200 sedan, a vehicle with an all-new interior, new exterior design, fuel-efficient V-6 engine and improved acoustics. The Dodge Avenger is also manufactured at SHAP and received a major overhaul for 2011 with all-new interior, a new powertrain lineup and redesigned suspension.

“Chrysler is retooling to become a new model of efficient American manufacturing,” Granholm said.

Video comes from WXYZ-TV in Detroit-

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Granholm Announces New Grants to Support Renovation of Historic McGregor Public Library in Highland Park

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 9:32pm

From the Governor’s Office:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced two grants totaling $342,000, including a $110,000 Cities of Promise grant and a $232,000 Clean Energy Coalition (CEC) grant, that will be used to help restore Highland Park’s landmark McGregor Public Library. The announcement was made at Highland Park City Hall where the governor was joined by Mayor Hubert Yopp, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Deputy Director Burney Johnson, CEC Division Manager Jenny Oorbeck and other local officials.

Designed and built in 1926, the McGregor Library was a centerpiece for the community until hard times in the auto industry resulted in Highland Park suffering job losses, depopulation and reduced tax revenue. The library closed in 2002 but is currently undergoing a $9.3 million restoration.

“Libraries are important components of a civil society — they can be the social and cultural anchor of smaller communities,” Granholm said. “These grants will help Highland Park reopen McGregor Library as a vibrant, more energy-efficient building, one that will be a key educational resource in this community.”

The governor created the Cities of Promise initiative in 2006 to help eight of Michigan’s most distressed cities by bringing together resources to assist in blight elimination and community and economic development. Local leaders in each of the eight Cities of Promise identified a signature project to serve as a public symbol of the city’s redevelopment. Highland Park selected the McGregor Library as its signature project.

“The McGregor Library signature project is a prime example of how the Cities of Promise initiative has helped showcase a major historic southeast Michigan treasure,” Johnson said. “I applaud the efforts of Highland Park’s leaders for their vision and for working together to produce the right ideas that help build stronger local economies and communities.”

The $232,000 CEC grant will likely be used to upgrade existing lighting, both with natural and energy-efficient lighting technologies. Highland Park officials also plan to invest a portion of the CEC grant in efficient glazing technologies that provide significantly more insulation value than traditional skylights.

The CEC, through a $4.4 million grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission, is designing and implementing ongoing clean energy programs in Highland Park and Michigan’s other Cities of Promise. The CEC is a Michigan-based, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to creating healthier energy-independent communities by accelerating positive change through clean energy technologies. Clean Energy Communities, a CEC initiative, delivers technical expertise and guidance to Michigan municipalities and local governments.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Radio Address: Governor Granholm Urges Congress to Extend Unemployment Benefits

Fri, 12/03/2010 - 1:03pm

In this week’s radio address, Governor Granholm calls on Congress to act quickly and extend unemployment benefits so thousands of Michigan workers can be able to continue to provide for their families while they look for a new job, and also help keep our economic recovery on the right track.

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

It’s the holiday season, traditionally a time of joy and happiness, but for thousands of unemployed Michigan workers and their families the holidays are not so bright.

Not only are these workers jobless, many of them may soon be losing one of their lifelines – unemployment benefits, unless Congress acts quickly.

On November 30th, Congress did not renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program. Full federal funding for the extended benefits program ended as well.

Unless Congress acts, unemployment benefits for 181,500 Michigan workers will end between now and April 30th.

As a result, the typical household receiving these benefits could see its income fall by a third. The scenario is even worse for those households where there is a sole wage-earner receiving unemployment benefits; in those households, unemployment benefits are 90% of their income.

Unemployment benefits help the jobless make ends meet while they look for work. People use unemployment benefits to pay for food, housing, utilities, and other necessities.

Extending unemployment benefits is not only the right thing to do; it’s the right economic policy. Money from unemployment benefits is rapidly spent in the local economy at places like the grocery store, the corner pharmacy, the gas station - all stimulating demand.

It’s estimated that employment in Michigan is about 42,000 jobs greater now because of emergency and extended unemployment benefits provided over the last two years.

Conversely, letting millions of jobless Americans fall further into hardship by not extending benefits will hurt our national economic recovery. The impact on Michigan would be an estimated 26,000 fewer jobs, and ending the benefits will stretch our social safety net to the breaking point.

What’s ironic is that the same members of Congress who are blocking extended unemployment benefits are adamant that Congress has to first extend tax cuts for the wealthiest in our nation.

So, after denying a few hundred dollars a week to an unemployed worker, they would extend tax cuts for those with household incomes of $250,000 and more.

This is not only unjust, but it’s poor economic policy.

There is still time for Congress to do the right thing and extend unemployment benefits for another year. I urge them to do it now, and to make the holidays a little brighter for unemployed workers and their families throughout Michigan, and the nation.

Thank you for listening.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Governor Granholm’s Statement on DRIC

Fri, 12/03/2010 - 11:04am

From the Governor’s Office:

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today issued the following statement on the Senate Republicans’ decision to block HB 4961 from coming to the Senate floor for a vote, killing the Detroit River International Crossing project, a public-private partnership to oversee the new border crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

“Senate Republicans have bowed to special interests. They are irresponsible, discarding 10,000 jobs for Michigan workers and ignoring the needs of job providers. It’s simply incredible that they turned down a no-risk project which had support from business, labor, former Governors Engler and Blanchard and the U.S. and Canadian governments. It’s Exhibit A for why Michigan needs campaign finance reform.”

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Granholm Applauds Passage of Small Business Investment Credit Legislation

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 6:11pm

From the Governor’s Office:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today applauded Senate passage of legislation that will create a new tax incentive to spur greater investment in small businesses. The initiative, announced in Granholm’s 2010 State of the State Address in February, adds to the state’s aggressive economic development efforts to foster job creation through greater small business growth in Michigan.

“Increasing access to capital is a much-needed development and a major component of our strategy to diversify our economy and create jobs,” Granholm said. “This bill moves Michigan forward by encouraging new investment in companies that are critical to our economic growth. We must create an environment where entrepreneurs and innovators can thrive, and the legislature deserves praise for taking swift action to help us do that.”

House Bill 5921, sponsored by Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods) passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill creates an investment credit that would allow a taxpayer to claim an income tax credit worth 25 percent of a qualified investment in a qualified small business. In order to receive the credit, the investment would have to be at least $20,000 and certified by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF). The MSF can certify up to $9 million in credits in a single year, with up to $250,000 for each single business.

Additional small business initiatives announced in the governor’s State of the State Address include: expanded funding for FastTrac NewVenture, a program for entrepreneurs to learn how to successfully launch and grow a small business, and the Michigan Small Business Financing Alliance, a new partnership launched this year with the MCUL and the MI-SBTDC to provide an initial $43 million for eligible small business loans.

The House, which has previously passed the bill, is expected to concur with Senate amendments.

Categories: Michigan Headlines

Granholm Hails GM Jobs Announcement at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 4:18pm

Governor Granholm attended the Volt Recognition ceremony this morning at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant - check the Volt website for pictures and video from the event. GM also announced that they will be hiring 1,000 electric-vehicle engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years to develop battery technology. From the Governor’s Office:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today hailed General Motors’ announcement that it will create 1,000 new engineering and development jobs in Michigan over the next two years as part of its vehicle electrification program. The announcement was made public in Detroit where the governor was on hand at the Hamtramck Assembly Center, production site of the new Chevrolet Volt.

“The state of Michigan is proud to continue our long partnership with GM as it drives toward a leaner, greener future,” Granholm said. “As we work to diversify our state’s economy both within the auto industry and outside of it, electric vehicles will play a major role in re-establishing Michigan as the North American center of automotive manufacturing.”

In June 2009, GM identified Michigan as one of three potential locations for its new, small-car assembly project. Rather than submit a traditional incentive package for this single project, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation proposed a “Global Solutions” Michigan Economic Growth Authority incentive, which covered all manufacturing investments by GM in Michigan. In total, the incentive package retains 20,000 workers and will generate a total investment of up to $2.5 billion in GM’s Michigan manufacturing operations. The Advanced Battery Credits bill, passed by the state legislature with bipartisan support in 2008, helped GM cement its decision to make Michigan the center of its vehicle electrification strategy.

“In little more than a year, Michigan has become the new center of the world’s electric vehicle and advanced battery industry,” Granholm said. “Michigan’s aggressive efforts to develop the advanced battery sector means that 18 of the global industry’s best-practice companies are or will soon be operating here. Our plan to diversify the state’s economy has achieved tangible results, both inside the auto industry and outside of it.”

To date GM has invested more than $700 million primarily in eight Michigan facilities alone, to retool, upgrade, or build the manufacturing and research and development infrastructure needed to build the Volt. GM plans to produce 10,000 Volts for the 2011 calendar year, and will increase U.S. production capacity for Volt to 45,000 units in 2012. Also in August 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded grants to GM to accelerate the deployment of battery pack manufacturing in Michigan. These grants for Volt suppliers and related facilities enabled high-volume production for electric drive and battery manufacturing.

The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center employs more than 1,100 hourly and salaried workers. Co-located in Detroit and Hamtramck, the plant covers 3.6 million square feet and is the only GM plant in Detroit. In addition to the Volt, the facility builds the Cadillac DTS and Buick Lucerne.

Watch the video of the ceremony below:

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Categories: Michigan Headlines

Radio Address: Governor Granholm Urges Citizens to Remember Those in Need This Thanksgiving

Wed, 11/24/2010 - 1:12pm

In this week’s radio address, Governor Granholm reminds Michigan residents to remember those less fortunate this Thanksgiving holiday ,and encouraged residents across the state to help those in need by volunteering at a local food bank or by donating food.

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

On Thanksgiving most families in Michigan sit down to enjoy a huge dinner. But for more than one million people in our state, putting just a little food on the table is a daily struggle.

My administration and the Michigan Food Policy Council have been working to help people obtain food and also provide better access to food that’s fresh and healthy.

People in Michigan’s Food Assistance Program can now use their Bridge cards to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at 57 farmers markets throughout the state. Thirteen of those markets participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program where Bridge card users who plan to spend up to $10 on Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables can receive $20 worth of fresh produce from participating vendors.

We’re improving access to fresh food in other ways as well. A recent state law provides tax incentives for grocery stores to expand or build in underserved areas. And if people can’t travel to a grocery store, we’re bringing the food to them through the Michigan Neighborhood Food Movers. In this pilot program in Detroit, vendors sell low-cost fruits and vegetables out of trucks in neighborhoods where it’s hard to find fresh produce.

Food banks, though, remain the mainstay for getting food to large numbers of people. The Food Bank Council of Michigan has 10 regional food banks across the state that serve 2,700 community agencies.

Every fall the Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign helps replenish the food banks, and for 20 years state employees have partnered with the Food Bank Council in this effort. Contributions are still coming in for this year’s campaign, but so far state employees have donated more than $56,000 and over 19,000 pounds of food.

Food banks could use your assistance as well. There are three ways to help.

First, you can donate money. Every $1 donation helps provide five meals.

Second, you can collect food. From now through December 10, you can drop off nonperishable food items at any Secretary of State branch office.

And third, you can volunteer to work at a food bank.

For more information, visit the Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign website at feedmichigan.org.

In 2009, Michigan food banks distributed 84 million pounds of food. Nearly 50 percent of those in need are children and seniors. During this Thanksgiving, please pause to remember the hungry in our state and help in any way you can.

Thank you for listening, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Categories: Michigan Headlines