Michigan CEO Summit

This Thursday, BLM hosts its fourth annual Michigan CEO Summit. Sold-out again this year, the Summit will also provide a straight-up understanding of the state's economic progress, along with global perspectives on how Michigan can up its game to boost jobs, income and GDP. Highlights include a keynote by innovation expert Tom Kelley, from IDEO - as well as panels of top CEOs and entrepreneurs sharing tips for staying relevant in an ever changing marketplace.  We will also release the 2015 Benchmarking Report which includes all the latest data on how Michigan stacks up against the rest of the U.S. on key measures of competitiveness. Unable to attend the event?  You can download the benchmarking report and conference materials after the event at www.businessleadersformichigan.com/events


BLM 3Q Economic Forecast: Short-Term Growth Slightly Positive, Long-Term Growth Flat

According to a survey conducted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), most business leaders forecast the Michigan and U.S. economies will grow modestly over the next six months, followed by flat growth over the next 18 months.  Read more. . . 

Rothwell: Assessing Michigan's talent future
The Detroit News  | October 29, 2015

The jobs that pay the most and are growing the fastest require more education and training. If we want to add these jobs and boost incomes in MI, we need to make sure our students are graduating with the right skills. Unfortunately, too many of today's MI learners are not ready for a career or college upon graduation. From 2005 to 2015, MI's fourthgrade reading performance dropped from 30th to 41th nationally. Fourth grade math performance dropped from 32nd to 42nd. Only 20 percent of our high school students are considered career- and college-ready. The good news is that MI is taking important steps to set a new course.  Read more. . . 


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.


INVEST: Talent  

Our view: To fill the jobs of today and tomorrow, Michigan needs to fill its pipeline with an educated and skilled workforce. 
BLM supports making strategic investments in areas that make college more affordable, grow the state's talent pipeline and harness the innovation of MI's higher education system.

Manufacturers produce seminar on filling 'skills gap'
GRBJ.com | October 16, 2015

Talk to any West Michigan manufacturer, in any industry, about the challenges they face, and you will likely hear about the talent shortage pretty quickly. The median age of a manufacturing employee is 44, higher for those in skilled trades positions such as welders. As they leave the factory floor for retirement, millennials have not been quick to fill the vacancies. Read more. . .
MSU to accelerate key research areas with Global Impact Initiative

Michigan State University will accelerate key research areas through the recruitment of 100 new faculty members as part of the newly launched Global Impact Initiative. The Global Impact Initiative will bolster areas in which MSU already has a strong foundation, such as plant science, engineering, physical science and STEM education, while expanding research in genomics, cybersecurity, computational science and precision medicine. Read more. . .

GROW: New Michigan

Our view:  
BLM supports leveraging MI's distinctive assets to grow good paying jobs and accelerate MI's economic growth in areas where our state demonstrates unparalleled strengths or expertise such as the automotive/mobility and life sciences sectors.  To that end, MI should market its expertise in these areas to position our state as the Global Center for Mobility and as a Life Sciences Hub.  

UM's $150M biosciences initiative to add 30 faculty
Detroit News | October 23, 2015
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With its schools of medicine, dentistry, kinesiology, nursing, pharmacy, environment and other disciplines, the University of Michigan is ripe to leverage its breadth of expertise to become a world leader in life science discovery to solve societal problems, President Mark Schlissel said Friday. Read more. . .
Virginia Seeks Autonomous Research Lead
The competition for autonomous driving research dollars was ramped up by the state of Virginia and its research university Virginia Tech at a driverless vehicle test drive in Arlington held for members of the Washington, D.C., press corps.  On hand for the one-hour drive on I-395 in Arlington, and for a press conference after, were Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the state's transportation secretary, a leader from the US Department of Transportation, and several other Virginia transportation movers and shakers.  Read more. . .


Student debt in Michigan up 57 percent over last decade

Michigan college students graduated with an average of $29,450 in debt in 2014, an amount largely unchanged from 2013 but above the national average, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.  Michigan ranked as having the 9th highest level of individual student debt and 20th for the proportion of student's having some debt.  Read more. . .
MI local officials offer ideas for tackling OPEB costs
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A survey by the University of Michigan reports:

* Statewide, only 22% of local officials report that their jurisdictions provide retiree health care benefits to retired employees or elected officials, or promise them to current employees. 
* Many local leaders (42%) from jurisdictions who offer other post-employment benefits (OPEB) think benefit levels for current retirees are too generous. 
* Looking ahead, over half of all local officials in jurisdictions with OPEB liabilities are somewhat (38%) or very (15%) concerned that they won't be able to fulfill their health care benefit obligations to their retirees. Some jurisdictions have taken actions to deal with these challenges by introducing less expensive health care or prescription plan options and increasing cost-sharing by retirees.The results have been mixed.  Click here to read the full report.
MI moves up to #30 for Best States for Business & Careers
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While Utah and North Carolina headed the list, Michigan was the biggest gainer this year moving up 12 spots to No. 30. Says Forbes: "Michigan has undergone massive changes since Gov. Rick Snyder took office in 2011. The state became the 24th right-to-work state in March 2013. Snyder also repealed the Michigan Business Tax and initiated a phase out of the personal property tax on businesses. Michigan still has its issues. Net migration out of the state was the second highest in the country and the economic outlook is also weak over the next five years."  Read more. . . 
Detroit Metro 4th highest domestic out-migration from 2010-2014

Cities get ranked in numerous ways - by income, hipness, tech-savviness and livability - but there may New Geography Logo be nothing more revealing about the shifting fortunes of our largest metropolitan areas than patterns of domestic migration. Bright lights and culture may attract some, but people generally move to places with greater economic opportunity and a reasonable cost of living, particularly affordable housing. Read more. . .


Wayne State approves new $50M Mike Ilitch School of Business
MLive.com | October 30, 2015

 The Wayne State University Board of Governors officially accepted a $40-million gift from Detroit business moguls Mike and Marian Ilitch. That will go to fund most of a new $50-million school of business for Wayne State University. The money is the largest gift received in the history of the Detroit university, and will be used to build the Mike Ilitch School of Business on the southwest corner of Woodward Avenue and Temple Street.   Read more. . .
Domino's creates its own delivery car with GM, Google partner
Daily Herald | October 25, 2015
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Domino's Pizza Inc., facing stiff competition and more demanding customers, is working with General Motors to build its own fleet of custom delivery cars. The company is rolling out 100 test vehicles emblazoned with the Domino's logo and red-and-blue colors, as well as an oven in the rear that can keep pizzas warm during transit. Domino's plans to bring the cars to 25 markets, including Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans and Seattle, according to a statement Wednesday. Read more. . . 
GM and DTE partner for automaker's largest solar project in Michigan  GM-logo
MLive.com | October 19, 2015

General Motors and DTE Energy are building an 800-kilowatt solar array at the automaker's Warren Transmission plant.  It will be the largest such facility for the Detroit automaker in Michigan.Read more. . .


Detroit Seeks to Rebound from Bankruptcy 
The Pew Charitable Trusts | October 2, 2015

Nearly a year after exiting the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit is taking steps toward improving its services and creating a new version of its economy to keep and attract residents crucial to the city's long-term recovery.   Read more. . .
Editorial: Michigan jobless rate shows economic growth
The Detroit News  | October 23, 2015

At 5 percent, Michigan's unemployment rate has fallen below the national average, currently 5.1 percent, for the first time in a decade and a half. The news is a
 welcome part of Michigan's effort to recover from the Lost Decade. And although it signals some growth, there's more to do. 
SBA lending in Michigan reaches record level in FY 2015 
MIBiz.com  | October 25, 2015

A good economy and participation from more banks across the state drove U.S. Small Business Administration lending to a record level in the last year. The SBA backed 2,485 loans totaling $663.7 million through its primary 7(a) lending program in the 2015 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That's a new high in the annual number of 7(a) loans and compares with 2,145 loans for $602.7 million in the 2014 fiscal year.  Read more. . . 
Comerica Bank's Michigan Index Shows Fifth Month of Growth
TechCentury | October 28, 2015

Comerica Bank's Michigan Economic Activity Index grew in August, increasing 0.3 percentage points to reach a level of 127.4. The index consists of eight variables - nonfarm payrolls, exports, hotel occupancy rates, continuing claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts, sales tax revenues, home prices, and auto production. All data are seasonally adjusted and indexed to a base year of 2008. Also, the values are converted to a constant-dollar basis and are expressed in terms of three-month moving averages. 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 composed exclusively of the chairpersons, chief executive officers, or most senior executives of Michigan's largest companies and universities.  Our members drive 32% of the state's economy, provide nearly 375,000 direct 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