April 14, 2023
Lawmakers and experts agree that boosting Michigan’s population would create a better environment for businesses and workers.
Why it matters: A stagnant population can’t grow the competitive economy that leaders from both sides of the aisle say would improve residents’ lives.
Michigan’s population decline has also cost the state politically. We’ve lost a congressional representative every 10 years — including two in 1990 — since 1980.
Between the lines: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a task force to address the issue earlier this year but hasn’t set a timeline for when it will convene.
What they’re saying: Wendy Block, chief lobbyist for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, says to position itself for future economic competitiveness, the state needs to double down on quality, accessible training programs that create career pathways.
Block, who serves as the Chamber’s senior vice president of business advocacy, points to two state programs as success stories: Michigan Reconnect, which lowers the cost of community college, and the Going PRO Talent Fund, which helps workers earn credentials to help land well-paying jobs.