December 15, 2005
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has announced that James C. Epolito, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), will serve as a member of her Cabinet. The new responsibility was announced Tuesday during the Governor’s bi-weekly Cabinet meeting.
“Jim Epolito will play a critical role in our effort to create tens of thousands of jobs in the areas of life sciences, alternative energy, advanced automotive manufacturing, and homeland security and defense,” Granholm said. “It is critical that he work closely with our entire Cabinet, and this new role for him signifies that job creation is a team effort in the Granholm Administration.”
The MEDC is Michigan’s one-stop resource for businesses seeking to grow in Michigan. It is a public body corporate created by intergovernmental agreement between the Michigan Strategic Fund and local economic development corporations throughout Michigan. Epolito and the MEDC will continue to work closely with the Department of Labor and Economic Growth and its director, David Hollister. Epolito will continue to report to the Executive Committee of the MEDC board of directors, which is comprised of business people, local economic developers, and educators.
The inclusion of a Cabinet member who does not head a principal state department is not without precedent. By tradition in Michigan, a governor’s Cabinet includes those directors of principal state departments and other public officials selected by the governor. Granholm’s Cabinet includes several members who do not head principal state departments, including Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry, Jr.; Ken DeBeaussaert, director of the Office of the Great Lakes; Robert Davis, director of the Governor’s Southeast Michigan office; John Burchett, chief of staff to the Governor; Teresa Bingman, deputy chief of staff for Cabinet affairs and management for the Governor; Mary Lannoye, state budget director, and Tom Hall, acting state employer.
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