Governor Says Invest Michigan! will Grow State Pension Fund, Invest in Michigan Businesses, Create Jobs

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

Friday, August 1, 2008

Radio Address outlines plan to build Michigan's economic future

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said her plan to invest $300 million in Michigan-based companies will grow the state pension fund and create jobs.

"This week, we moved forward on another of our plans to grow business and create jobs by announcing Invest Michigan! - a fund that will use $300 million, a large amount of capital but a small portion of our state pension fund, to invest in businesses that create the jobs we need in Michigan," Granholm said.

The 21st Century Jobs Fund and the Venture Michigan Fund are investing hundreds of millions of dollars focused on Michigan companies at the critical early-growth state.  Until this point, however, there has not been enough funding available for later-stage capital needs.

"Invest Michigan! will use state pension funds to help diversify Michigan's economy by retaining, attracting, and building successful small and mid-sized businesses and creating jobs for Michigan workers," Granholm said.  "These investments in Michigan-based companies, in turn, will grow our pension funds.  Invest Michigan! is a program that will put Michigan money to work building Michigan's economic future."

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at (www.michigan.gov/gov) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also available as a podcast on the Web site, as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Radio Address - Invest Michigan!
August 1, 2008

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov156_Full_243894_7.mp3 
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov156_Edit_243895_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov156_Quote_243896_7.mp3

This is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Almost six months ago in my State of the State address, I outlined how I will continue to go anywhere and do anything to bring jobs to Michigan.  Our economic plan includes both short-term and long-term strategies, many of which we have already implemented thanks to bipartisan cooperation in Lansing. For example, we have put in place the nation's most aggressive film incentive program to bring the movie-making industry and its good-paying jobs to Michigan; I have signed into law record funding for business marketing and tourism promotion; we now have a number of new and greater incentives to attract job-creating businesses - just to name a few.  

So this week, we moved forward on another of our plans to grow business and create jobs by announcing Invest Michigan! - a fund that will use $300 million, a large amount of capital but a small portion of our state pension fund, we're going to use this money to invest in businesses that create the jobs we need in Michigan.

Now, the first job of Invest Michigan! is to ensure a good return on our investments for our pensioners.  And we want to encourage companies to plant their roots in Michigan.  We want companies that are here, to grow and expand.  We want to create high-skilled, high-wage jobs. But to get them, we need to make sure these companies have access to the money and the resources made available to startup firms and small businesses with exceptional growth potential - money commonly referred to as venture capital - which those companies need to commercialize their products and grow as job-creating enterprises.

We have taken steps to increase the amount of venture capital available to Michigan companies.  The 21st Century Jobs Fund and the Venture Michigan Fund are investing hundreds of millions of dollars focused on Michigan companies at the critical early-growth stage.  Until this point, though, there has not been enough funding available for later-stage capital needs.  So Invest Michigan! will use state pension funds to help diversify Michigan's economy by retaining, attracting, and building successful small and mid-sized businesses and creating jobs for Michigan workers.  These investments in Michigan-based companies, in turn, grow our pension funds.  Finally, Invest Michigan! will build a solid investment track record to attract additional private equity investment to Michigan.

Invest Michigan! will be managed by three professional investment companies with successful track records in the industry.  And they will be aided by a business leadership council, which is a group of highly successful Michigan business leaders chaired by none other than Roger Penske, who will help the fund be successful by sourcing, mentoring, monitoring, and giving input into investments in areas of their expertise. 

Invest Michigan! is a program that will put Michigan money to work building Michigan's economic future.  Through Invest Michigan!, we can also make sure that Michigan gets the good-paying jobs it needs today.

Thank you for listening.