Reinventing Michigan: Relentless Positive Action
31 Oct, 2012By: Governor Rick Snyder
In January of 2011, Governor Rick Snyder took office in Michigan. Fixing our state isn’t enough, he said. “Michigan needs to be reinvented if we are to take advantage of the opportunities that await us in a global economy.”
English: Rick Snyder, 48th Governor of Michigan, takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly on the steps of the Capitol at his inauguration.
Now, in less than two years, the state’s government and economy have been transformed. Fiscal integrity is restored. The budget deficit has been eliminated and long-term debt is being paid down. Investor confidence in Michigan is returning, signaled by the creation of 80,000 private-sector jobs last year – the first gain in a decade. The unemployment rate in August 2012 was 9.4 percent, trending down from 10.3 percent the previous July.
Michigan is thriving. What accounts for this dramatic turnaround?
Simply, Michigan has reinvented itself. The dictionary definition is to change something so much that it appears to be entirely new. That’s what is happening. Building on its existing base of manufacturing and innovation, a workforce renowned for manufacturing and engineering expertise and a strategic location at the hub of the North American market, the state has engineered a change for the better.
Innovative, Business-Focused Government
Bold reforms have dramatically improved Michigan’s business climate. A new, competitive business tax system has propelled the state’s corporate tax ranking from 49 to seven in the nation and overall tax rank from 18 to 12.
Michigan’s flat six-percent Corporate Income Tax is the most competitive in the Midwest and among the best in the nation.
For the first time in 10 years, the state budget is structurally balanced and contains a surplus.
New tools like the $8 billion (and counting) Pure Michigan Business Connect match businesses with resources to fuel economic growth and increase access to capital.
As one of the first states to focus on talent enhancement, Michigan is doing more to help employers find the right talent through initiatives like MichAGAIN (to lure graduates and former residents back home), Global Michigan (to encourage immigration of foreign students, graduates and entrepreneurs) and Pure Michigan Talent Connect (to match job seekers and job creators).
Reinvention is the new reality in Michigan. With its fiscal house in order, the state’s energies are now focused on strengthening and supporting existing assets, starting with manufacturing.
Manufacturing Dominance, Diversity
Manufacturing is in Michigan’s DNA, and this mantle of leadership extends across diverse industries, from autos and trucks to office furniture.
If Michigan were a country, it would rank 13th in the world for vehicle production. It is home to eight of the 10 largest global automotive suppliers, all with world or North American headquarters in Michigan, and 47 of the top 50 global automotive suppliers. With 12 vehicle assembly plants, the state account for 20 percent of U.S. car production and 21 percent of U.S. truck production. More cars and light trucks are manufactured in Michigan than any other state: 1,909,119 in 2011.
The state’s economy ranked 12th in the nation in 2010 gross domestic product (GDP), generating $384.1 billion annually. Industrial manufacturing contributes 450,000 Michigan jobs and produces $195 billion in goods.
The state is a world leader in the production of office furniture with West Michigan companies Steelcase, Herman Miller and Haworth leading the industry.
It is in the top 10 for manufacturing jobs in primary metal, machinery and fabricated metal products, plastics and rubber products and chemicals.
World Center for Industrial Research and Development
University of Michigan is No. 1 for R&D spending at U.S. public universities.
North America’s largest concentration of vehicle-related R&D and technical centers is found in Michigan, more than 370, including research, product development or production facilities for eight of the world’s 10 largest OEMs. Vehicle-related R&D expenditure of $11.8 billion comprises 75 percent of the U.S. total, according to National Science Foundation. Michigan is No. 3 in in industrial R&D intensity, No. 4 in industrial R&D expenditures at $15.7 billion, and No. 5 in overall R&D expenditures, at $17.4 billion.
Abundant Supply of Talent
Few locations in the world can match Michigan’s manufacturing and high-tech talent. Michigan has a larger concentration of workers in auto-related engineering occupations than any other top vehicle-producing state. Michigan has the nation’s fourth-largest high-tech workforce with more than 87,000 engineers and 70,000 R&D professionals.
Southeast Michigan has the highest concentration of technology-related employment in the Midwest and trails only San Jose’s Silicon Valley in architecture and engineering employment.
Michigan is heavily invested in talent supply: Home to 15 public universities, 60-plus independent universities and colleges, and 28 community colleges. Nearly 1,500 Ph.Ds. are granted by Michigan institutions every year, almost twice the national average. In addition, Michigan is No. 5 in the number of engineering graduates (5,751 in 2009).
Gateway to North America
Located within 500 miles of half of the population and income of the United States and Canada, Michigan is a strategic entry point to the North American market. Proximity to Chicago to the west, Toledo to the south, and Toronto and Montreal to the northeast puts Michigan squarely in the center of a global economic corridor.
Nine international crossings link Michigan with Ontario, Canada, including North America’s busiest border crossing in Detroit. Michigan is home to 5,057 divisions and subsidiaries of global firms representing 60 countries and encompassing all industry and service sectors.
Business, Manufacturing Nexus
295 FORTUNE 500 companies are headquartered within a 500-mile radius, representing $5.59 trillion in annual revenue. A total of 42 percent of U.S. business establishments are within 500 miles of Michigan, and 49 percent of U.S. manufacturing establishments within 500 miles. Twenty-two of the FORTUNE 500 are headquartered in Michigan, accounting for $402.3 billion in annual revenue.
Michigan ports move $5 billion in goods annually via the Great Lakes. Michigan has 235 airports across the state including 18 commercial. A total of 520 million pounds of high-value cargo is transported by air annually and 36 million passengers pass through Michigan’s airports each year. Thousands of miles of toll-free highways have been built and maintained for industrial use in addition to 3,590 miles of rail lines.
The Little Sable Point Light Station on Lake Michigan in Oceana County, Michigan, United States, is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
Pure Michigan Lifestyle
And, there’s more to life than business! Those who live in and visit Michigan enjoy the world’s largest supply of fresh-water lakes. Michigan has four distinct seasons, each with its own beauty. It is home to more than 800 public golf courses and enjoys a year-round hunting season with thousands of acres of prime game area. Many people new to Michigan are impressed by the affordability of housing and services, compared to other locations.
A great way of life, abundant talent and a competitive business climate. . . For these and many other reasons, Michigan today is very attractive to investors and businesses making new location and investment decisions.