March 2015

On May 5, Let's Fix the Roads with Proposal 1!


Imagine you're driving up I-75 from Ohio, and you cross the border.   You see the beautiful blue sign welcoming you to Michigan, and suddenly the smooth road beneath your wheels gives way to a crumbling, tooth-rattling mess. Is this really what we want "Pure Michigan" to mean to our families, our tourists, or worst of all--the job providers thinking about locating here? 

Of course not.  That is why Proposal 1 on the May Election ballot is so important. It provides a dedicated source of funding to fix our roads now and in the future. Proposal 1 would guarantee an additional $1.2 billion to make MI's roads and bridges safer. 


Proposal 1 has three strong guarantees:

  • Every penny you pay at the pump in state gas taxes is constitutionally guaranteed to fund transportation.
  • Roadbuilders would have to provide warranties on the roads they build, so taxpayers aren't forced to pay for improper repairs.
  • Every penny in the School Aid Fund is constitutionally guaranteed for K-12 schools and community colleges.
BLM's position: Other states around us invest far more in their roads than we do and it shows
Businesses thinking of locating here take the condition of our roads into account as they consider how to move their products and ideas to market. We need to make sure our roads are safe, strong for our families and capable of supporting our businesses and the economy we want. The May Ballot Proposal is about making our roads safe and requiring those that fix our roads to guarantee their workBLM supports Proposal 1.


Updated Performance Tracker reveals MI's public universities continue to outperform most peers


BLM recently updated its Performance Tracker for Public Universities and found that Michigan's public universities continue to perform better than most of their peers in key areas.  For example, twelve of MI's public universities are better than their peers in producing degrees in critical skills areas - with eight among the top 20%.  Eleven MI universities outrank their peers for graduation rate, and four are among the top 20%. And when it comes to total degrees awarded, ten of MI's universities are above the peer average, with seven ranking in the top 20%. These outcomes are extremely important, given that current and future job demand requires workers with more education, and those with more education earn more.  Click here to view MI's Performance Tracker for Public Universities.


Recent articles:

Detroit News: Study: Michigan's public universities outperform peers

MLive.com: Michigan universities rank 6th for most degrees produced

Optimism High for MI and U.S. Economies in Short and Long Term 

BLM recently released the results of the latest BLM Quarterly Economic Outlook Survey. Michigan's largest employers reported much stronger confidence in MI's and the U.S. economy since the previous forecast.  BLM members project that both the MI and U.S. economies will continue to grow through the next 6 to 18 months.  Nearly half of business leaders project their companies will add jobs in the next six months and over 40% believe they will make capital investments in MI. Read more. . .


Last Chance to Register! 
New Michigan Summit Logo

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Lansing Center, Lansing, MI
8:00 am-12:00 pm
No cost to attend

Join us for the 3rd annual Leadership Summit: Building a New Michigan. Hear how 

the New Michigan strategy is critical to accelerating Michigan's economic growth 

and how other states are transforming their economies.

Click here to download the detailed agenda or register for the event!
Mark your calendar!    
CEO Summit logo

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Tom Kelley, General Manager of IDEO
Keynote Speaker: Tom Kelley 

Tom Kelley is one of the world's most respected experts on managing innovation and design. He is General Manager of IDEO, the award-winning global design firm that uses a human-centered, design-based approach to help organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow.


 Cost to attend $125. More details to follow.  


The Michigan Turnaround Plan reflects the significant progress that has been made in making Michigan more competitive.  It identifies areas where we can compete, invest and grow in order to make our state stronger for generations to come.



Our view: Michigan needs more talent and to be better connected to the world than competitor states.

UM Survey shows need for more investments in roads and bridges in Michigan communities

closup Logo


As part of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), CLOSUP surveyed local government leaders from 1,356 Michigan jurisdictions (counties, cities, townships, and villages) about a range of issues surrounding roads and bridges in their jurisdictions, from their current condition and maintenance to state and local road funding, and more.  Local leaders say Michigan road funding needs major increase, but lack consensus on options that would raise the most revenue. Click here to read the full report. 




Local Governments: More Increasing Pay than Benefits  closup Logo


A survey of MI local government leaders by the University of Michigan shows that while the percentage boosting pay for their employees each year since 2008 has risen, the percentage planning to boost employee contributions to health insurance has declined - see below. Read more. . .


Millenials Want to Live In Suburbs When They Hit 30-Ish


A National Association of Home Builders survey identifies that two-thirds of the millennial generation (born in the 1980's and 1990's) want to live in the suburbs and three-fourths want single-family homes.  The survey is consistent with previous data we've shared showing that people in their 20's continue to move to cities (with most relocating to Sun Belt or Mountain state cities), but those around 30 want to move to the suburbs.  The preference has strong implications for urban redevelopment efforts and underscores the need to improve schools and neighborhoods, not just downtowns.  Read more. . . 

South, West Attract Population


Michigan needs to increase population to have the best chance of becoming a Top Ten state. The Pew Foundation, based on analyzing census data, reports that southern and western states continue to attract people moving from other states.  Michigan experienced a net out-migration of over 28,000 people from 2010 to 2013 - largest of all Midwest Great Lakes states except Illinois.  Read more. . .   


DTE Surpasses $1B in Spending with State Businesses

DBusiness.com | February 16, 2015


DTE Energy has quickly exceeded $1.25 billion in cumulative spending with Michigan businesses since 2011. As part of the Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative, DTE pledged to shift an incremental $1 billion in spending from businesses located outside of Michigan, and in some cases the United States, to Michigan-based suppliers by the end of this year. DTE surpassed that goal in December. DTE ended 2014 above target as well, spending $922 million during the year with in-state suppliers. As part of that investment, the company spent $159 million with Detroit-based suppliers by December of last year, and more than $370 million with certified diversity suppliers.  Read more. . . 

JPMorgan Chase backs training, investment in Detroit

Detroit News | February 11, 2015 Chase logo


Nine months after committing $100 million to support economic development, blight removal and job training in Detroit, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is putting its cash to work. The Wall Street giant - the largest player in the Detroit market - so far has disbursed $32 million in the form of investments and grants, including a $1.2 million grant to Focus: HOPE to support college engineering programs and expansion of its Machinist Training Institute. Read more. . .  


Don't waste Michigan's high-tech job assets

Detroit Free Press | February 3, 2015


Believe it or not, Michigan has a higher concentration of jobs in America's 50 most high-tech industries than any other state, in part because of the resurgent auto industry and Detroit's concentration in digital savvy companies. And the Detroit region ranks fourth among the largest U.S. metro areas - behind only San Jose, Calif., Seattle and Wichita, Kan. - in the percentage of jobs directly tied to the industries, from autos to aerospace and computer programming.  Read more. . .

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About Us


Business Leaders for Michigan, the state's business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. The organization is comprised of the chairpersons, chief executive officers, or most senior executives of Michigan's largest companies and universities.  Our members drive over 25% of the state's economy, provide over 325,000 direct and 820,000 indirect jobs in Michigan, generate over $1 Trillion in annual revenue and serve nearly one half of all Michigan public university students. Find out more at: www.businessleadersformichigan.com