Governor Granholm Says Events of 2008 Underscore Importance of Ongoing Efforts to Diversify State's Economy

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

December 26, 2008

Radio Address highlights challenges of past year, efforts to move Michigan forward
 
LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that the critical importance of her administration's efforts to diversify the state's economy and create jobs was reinforced by the challenges the state faced in 2008 from foreclosures and the credit crisis, to the national economy and the severe struggles of the auto industry.

"The challenges of 2008 clearly reinforced the critical importance of the work we are doing here in Michigan to diversify the economy and create jobs," Granholm said.  "Since 2003, we've been working to restructure the state's economy, growing sectors where Michigan has a natural advantage, including alternative energy, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and homeland security.  And this year, we began to see these efforts take hold."

The governor talked about new energy laws she signed this year, which require that a portion of Michigan's future energy be produced from renewable sources like wind and solar.  As a result, companies like Global Wind Solutions, Evergreen Solar, and Mariah Power, who are creating jobs in this sector, are choosing Michigan.

The governor also talked about Centers of Energy Excellence, proposed in her State of the State address, that are connecting even more companies to Michigan's research universities, and the Defense Contract Coordination Center that was created last year and has more than doubled the amount of defense industry spending in Michigan.  And the governor will soon sign legislation making Michigan the center of U.S. efforts to develop batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

In addition, the No Worker Left Behind Program is helping to make sure that Michigan's workers are prepared for the jobs these companies will create. 

"All of these efforts helped Michigan earn the 2008 "State of the Year" for corporate investment from Business Facilities magazine this year," Granholm said.  "But there is much more to do.  Transforming Michigan into the state we want it to be will take time…and a lot of hard work.  But we are on the right path.  And, as we learned this year, by working together, we can move Michigan forward…no matter what comes our way."

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 - Year End Review
December 26, 2008

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov177_Full_260866_7.mp3
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov177_Edit_260867_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov177_Quote_260868_7.mp3

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.  As 2008 draws to a close, I want to wish you and your family a joyful holiday season.   As we prepare to ring in another New Year, it seems only right to reflect on some of the important events of this past year. 

2008 will certainly be a year remembered for its challenges - from foreclosures to the credit crisis to the national economy to the severe struggles of the auto industry.  The challenges of 2008 clearly reinforced the critical importance of the work we are doing here in Michigan to diversify the economy and create jobs.

Since 2003, we've been working to restructure the state's economy, growing sectors where Michigan has a natural advantage including alternative energy, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and homeland security.  And this year, we began to see these efforts take hold.

New energy legislation I called for and signed into law requires a portion of Michigan's future energy to be produced from renewable sources like wind and solar. As a result, companies like Global Wind Solutions, Evergreen Solar and Mariah Power, who are creating jobs in this growing sector, are choosing Michigan.

The Centers of Energy Excellence I proposed in my State of the State are connecting even more companies to our research universities to accelerate new energy job creation.  The Defense Contract Coordination Center we created last year has more than doubled the amount of defense industry spending in Michigan, helping to create thousands of new jobs.

Soon, I will sign legislation making Michigan the center of U.S. efforts to develop batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Our No Worker Left Behind Program is making sure that our workers are prepared for the jobs these companies will create.  Today, more than 50,000 unemployed or underemployed workers are enrolled in training courses in high-demand fields.

All of these efforts helped us earn the 2008 "State of the Year" for corporate investment from Business Facilities magazine this year.  But there is much more to do.

We must continue to provide a quality education to every child and ensure that they don't stop at high school.  We worked to do that this year with increased funding for quality pre-school, more "early college" high schools to connect students to great careers in health care and a 21st Century Schools Fund to help transform large, failing schools into smaller schools that work.

We worked this year to protect citizens from unscrupulous mortgage practices, we worked to protect our Great Lakes water from diversion, and we worked to eliminate blight from our communities.

Transforming Michigan into the state we want it to be will take time … and a lot of hard work.  But we are on the right path.  And, as we learned this year, by working together we can move Michigan forward … no matter what comes our way.

Happy Holidays and thank you for listening.

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