Governor Tours Local Jobs Site, Expresses Hope that Legislature is Ready to Act

Contact: Heidi Hansen 517-335-6397

July 7, 2005

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today expressed confidence that Republican leaders at the State Capitol will act on her plan to create jobs and diversify the state’s economy.  During a visit to X-Rite, Inc. in Grandville, Granholm showcased the state’s on-going efforts to create and retain jobs, which helped the company decide to expand their operation here, but said the state must be willing to take bold action to create tens of thousands of jobs and jumpstart Michigan’s economy this year. 

“X-Rite, Inc. is an excellent example of high-tech research underway in Michigan,” said Granholm.  “But our economy demands serious action to create more good paying jobs like these across the state.  Republican leaders have indicated they share my sense of urgency.  I am hopeful that in the next few weeks we’ll see the demonstration of that commitment.”

Granholm said companies like X-Rite, Inc. that choose to build and expand here are evidence that Michigan is poised to be a leader in tomorrow’s technology.  The high-tech company produces computer applications that ensure color accuracy and data communication when color output is critical to business.  The technology has applications in graphic arts, medical and dental technology, and industrial automotive technology.  In April, the company announced plans to invest $44.5 million in expanding their operation with the help of a state tax credit.  The company chose West Michigan over competing sites in other states.  The expansion will create 627 new jobs, including 313 directly at the company.

Granholm’s Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow initiative will not only help companies like X-Rite, Inc. that produce high-tech products, but will create jobs immediately and diversify and grow Michigan’s future economy.  It will:

  • create 72,000 high-wage jobs by investing $2 billion to establish Michigan as a global center of research in new technology and emerging industries;

  • create 36,000 jobs over three years and make Michigan a better place to live and do business by accelerating $800 million in critical state infrastructure projects, by giving local communities new tools to carry out their own public investment projects, and by sparking private development projects;

  • give children in school and adults in the workforce greater access to higher education and to the skills they need to fill both the jobs of the future and job vacancies that exist in Michigan today.

To create jobs of the future, Granholm is calling for a 21st Century Jobs Initiative to make Michigan the nation’s epicenter of alternative energy and advanced automotive research, a leader in the biotech industry, and a hotbed for homeland security R&D.  The initiative calls for a $2 billion investment over 10 years to grow Michigan’s economy by increasing research in our university, corporate, and non-profit research institutions and by stepping up efforts to turn new ideas into new commercial products.  The Governor’s plan would create 72,000 jobs over the next decade.

To put thousands of Michigan residents to work this year, Granholm has also proposed a Jobs Today Initiative that will speed up state and local infrastructure improvement projects that were scheduled to begin over the next decade and provide incentives that will lead to new private development and renovation projects.  This acceleration will create some tens of thousands of new jobs over three years in the building trades, construction, and related service industries.  By repairing roads, modernizing schools, cleaning industrial sites, and renovating downtowns, the Jobs Today Initiative will also improve Michigan’s quality of life and make the state more attractive to job providers.
 Two other pieces of Granholm’s five-point plan are:

  • the Mi Opportunity Partnership to cut unemployment by rapidly filling 90,000 job vacancies that exist in the state today.  Granholm said the new MI Opportunity Partnership could match and place as many as 30,000 citizens who are looking for work with a job this year through training programs focused on the skilled trades and health care fields.

  • the Michigan Jobs & Investment Act (MJIA), the administration’s plan to make the state’s business taxes more attractive for job providers.  The MJIA will broadly restructure business taxes, cutting the existing Single Business Tax rate by 37 percent.  Under the plan, three out of every four businesses that pay the SBT will see a reduction in their tax rate.  Granholm’s proposed changes will help ensure that existing major employers continue to keep jobs in Michigan, will help small businesses grow, and will encourage research and development companies to create new high-growth jobs in this state.

“Job growth, coupled with a great quality of life, will make Michigan a magnet for jobs, investment, growth, people and opportunity,” said Granholm.  “This economic plan helps Michigan retain jobs, attract the jobs of the future, and protect schools and health care for our citizens.  But, to make all of these things possible, the Legislature must act with urgency and speed.”

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For more information visit www.michigan.gov/gov .