Granholm Says Michigan Moving in Determined Fashion to Diversify Economy and Create Jobs

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

April 17, 2009

Radio address: diversity key to fighting unemployment and accelerating recovery

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that creating all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people is key to fighting unemployment and accelerating Michigan's recovery.  The governor signed legislation earlier in the week extending unemployment benefits for jobless citizens, enabling them to help support their families while seeking employment or training for new careers.

"By supporting our workers today and diversifying our economy for tomorrow, we are moving in a determined fashion day-to-day to shape the next Michigan," Granholm said.

The governor said Michigan is making important strides in diversifying our economy with the announcement of 14 new projects that will generate 7,700 new jobs and $2 billion in new investment in communities across the state, including a brand-new industry taking hold in Michigan with the announcement of four advanced-battery companies investing $1.7 billion in the state, which will put Michigan in prime position to compete for $2 billion in federal recovery grants.

"We are planting our flag firmly in the ground and staking our claim as the advanced-battery capital of the world," Granholm said.

Other projects include a new $146 million film production complex in Allen Park, expansion of a metal stamping company, a powdered milk production facility, as well as tax credits to transform blighted areas in Flint, Grand Rapids, and St. Joseph that will create and attract more jobs. 

"This is what diversity looks like," Granholm said, "thousands of new jobs in communities across the state in a variety of industries - from ones in their infancy, like advanced-battery manufacturing, to ones that are hundreds of years old and going strong, like agriculture."

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 vi2a 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: New Jobs Diversify Our Economy

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov193Full_275287_7.mp3
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov193Edit_275288_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov193Quote_275290_7.mp3

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

This week, we received new unemployment numbers, another unfortunate reminder that our national recession is going to get worse before it gets better.  So to help our unemployed citizens through these tough times, I signed legislation to use federal recovery money to add seven weeks of unemployment benefits.  That extends the total eligibility for jobless citizens to 79 weeks, enabling them to help support their families while seeking employment or training for new careers.

I'm pleased to say that we have had some positive numbers this week, too:  7,700 jobs and $2 billion - that's what's being generated by 14 new projects we announced.  These projects prove that we are making important strides in diversifying Michigan's economy.  Creating all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people is key to fighting that unemployment rate and accelerating Michigan's recovery.

This week also represents a turning point in Michigan as we witness a brand-new industry taking hold.  With the announcement that four advanced-battery companies are investing a combined $1.7 billion in Michigan, we are planting our flag firmly in the ground and staking our claim as the advanced-battery capital of the world.  These companies - A123 Systems, Johnson Controls, LG Chem-Compact Power, and KD Advanced Battery - they also put Michigan in prime position to compete for $2 billion in federal recovery grants.

Another industry new to Michigan - the film industry - continues to thrive, with the announcement that a California company will build Unity Studios - an innovative and comprehensive $146 million production complex - all in Allen Park.

The other projects include a metal stamping company expansion, a powdered milk production facility, a business analysis company, and two firms using advanced technology to reduce automotive fuel consumption and carbon emissions.  We also approved tax credits to transform blighted areas in Flint, Grand Rapids and St. Joseph, transforming them into retail and residential space that will create and attract more jobs.

This is what economic diversity looks like:  thousands of new jobs in communities across the state in a variety of industries - from ones in their infancy, like advanced-battery manufacturing, to ones that are hundreds of years old and going strong, like agriculture.

These companies could have chosen to locate anywhere in the world.  They are choosing Michigan because of our talented, versatile workforce and our aggressive economic development strategies.  As we compete in the global economy, we want companies around the world to see that Michigan is a great place to do business.

By supporting our workers today and diversifying our economy for tomorrow, we are moving in a determined fashion day-by-day to shape the next Michigan.

Thank you for listening.

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