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An Industry Revived

The state’s auto industry and the city of Detroit continue to grow stronger each day

Page 20

By Rick Snyder

Welcome to the new Detroit!

New because we’re stronger and working together, forging a fresh bond of cooperation.

The landmark Nov. 7 ruling by a federal judge allows Detroit to exit bankruptcy and engage in a sweeping restructuring plan – faster than anyone thought possible. The dramatic impact will greatly enhance the city’s image and move the city forward.

New because we’re thriving more than we have in years. With nearly 300,000 private sector jobs created in the past four years, our state is moving beyond the Comeback stage from the Great Recession and achieving signi cant long-term economic growth. Our unemployment is the lowest in six years, and Michigan leads the nation with the most new manufacturing jobs since 2009.

New because we have emerging sectors, not to mention an inspirational vibe that is catching on. Retail is returning to the city. Entrepreneurship and venture capital projects are  ourishing. In fact, apartment and condos can’t be built fast enough to keep up with the demand. In the past  ve years, $10 billion has been invested in commercial, industrial and residential properties in the city.

New because upcoming projects will transform the city as a better place to live, work and play, including a $61 million retail/restaurant space along the East Detroit Riverfront; a $650 million catalyst project linking downtown to Midtown through an expanded Detroit events and entertainment district, which will be home to the Detroit Red Wings; and, in the near future, a new International Trade Crossing between Detroit and Windsor.

New because we’re attracting and growing talent in Detroit like never before thanks to programs like LiveWorkDetroit, MAT2 (Michigan Advanced Technician Training) and Career Jump Start. To keep growing, we have to develop and connect talented workers with jobs and remind students that the auto industry can be an exciting, rewarding career.

Top ranked schools like the University of Michigan for its engineering programs, Michigan Technological University for its STEM degrees and Michigan State University for logistics and supply chain programs play a big part in our continued success.

The new Detroit also includes a new auto industry.

Building on an unrivaled automotive legacy, Michigan is home to an impressive hub of automotive innovation and proven knowhow. The state’s 375 R&D centers represent more than 75 percent of U.S. automotive R&D spending, and it is at these facilities where the latest innovations are transforming lightweight materials, smarter vehicles and integrated technologies.

Indeed, Michigan’s auto industry grows stronger each day. Automotive employment has increased 39 percent, and state auto suppliers have invested $5 billion and added/retained 31,000 jobs since 2009. In addition, in the last  five years, automakers have invested $14 billion.

Further, Michigan is home to 63 of the top 100 North American auto suppliers. The state’s 500,000 autorelated jobs represent 22 percent of the U.S. industry workforce. During the past four years, 78 auto-related companies have started businesses in Michigan.

In 2013, together with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, we created the Michigan Auto Office. Together with academia, MICHauto and the industry, we have developed a strategic plan, focused on fostering key partnerships in building world class automotive technology centers, a diverse talent pool of automotive related engineers and designers, and attracting capital and investment. Look around. The automotive industry isn’t simply a business, it’s our way of life.

Stronger and working together, we’re building a new Detroit and a new Michigan.


Rick Snyder