August 28, 2003
DETROIT – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today took her “manufacturing matters” message to American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) in Detroit. In an open panel discussion with AAM managers and workers, Granholm outlined her “manufacturing matters” initiative and praised the work of the company, the workforce and local and state officials for their collaborative efforts in securing AAM’s continued commitment of investment and jobs in Michigan.
The U.S. has lost more than 2.5 million manufacturing jobs in the past three years, including 71,000 in July alone. During the past three years, Michigan has lost more than 170,000 manufacturing jobs. The manufacturing industry employs approximately one out of every five workers in Michigan.
“The partnership of private business, labor, and state and local government has made the American Axle headquarters project a model for maintaining manufacturing jobs in Michigan,” Granholm said. “We are here today to engage in an open discussion about how we can continue to work together to keep these jobs in Michigan and carry the success we see here today forward to retain and grow manufacturing jobs in our state. Our manufacturing workforce plays a critical role in achieving this goal.”
Thursday’s meeting was one of many planned discussions in advance of a “Manufacturing Matters” summit the Governor will convene this fall with business, labor, and economic leaders. The six-member panel outlined their respective organization’s roles in the successful partnership that lead to the retention and expansion of AAM. After each member of the panel spoke, Granholm invited questions and insights from the audience of nearly 100 AAM associates.
“Manufacturing is the lifeblood of this country and certainly a critical element of the Michigan economy,” said Richard E. Dauch, American Axle & Manufacturing Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO. “We applaud Governor Jennifer Granholm’s efforts on behalf of manufacturing in Michigan. We are pleased to share a stage with her and other local and state officials for a discussion of the importance of partnerships in retaining and growing manufacturing jobs in the State of Michigan.”
The panel included Governor Granholm, American Axle & Manufacturing Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO Richard E. Dauch; Detroit Economic Growth Corporation President George Jackson; Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano; Michigan Economic Development Corporation Vice President of Michigan Business Development Jim Donaldson; and UAW Local 235 Shop Chairperson Jerry Richardson.