(LANSING, Mich.) – Today, Michigan’s largest business organizations representing thousands of employers across the state, released a joint 2019 Legislative Agenda on behalf of their collective members, which provide jobs to the vast majority of Michigan’s legislative districts, from small business to Fortune 500.
Employers’ indicate that their number one issue is the need for a high-quality, high skilled workforce. With Michigan’s infrastructure in its poorest condition in decades, the coalition of regional chambers set this agenda to create change in 2019.
The coalition of chambers of commerce include: Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber; Bay Area Chamber; Detroit Regional Chamber; Flint & Genesee Chamber; Grand Rapids Chamber; Lansing Regional Chamber; Saginaw County Chamber; and Southwest Michigan First.
“Businesses across Michigan are struggling with the same challenge of getting customers and employees to their door and goods to market. We need a long term and sustainable solution to fix our roads that delivers the needed dedicated funds,” said Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Chamber.
The organizations support the below priorities that are vital to Michigan’s progress:
- Increased and dedicated revenue stream for state and local roads and infrastructure. Funding for a comprehensive, statewide infrastructure fix is nearly impossible unless a needed dedicated revenue stream is identified and enacted.
- Increased funding for “Going Pro”- formerly Skilled Trades Training Fund. This employer-driven, upskilling program has been widely successful with significant potential for growth.
- Expansion of the Elliot Larson Civil Rights act to include gender identity and sexual orientation. Michigan must have a welcoming and competitive climate to attract and retain top talent from around the state, nation and globe.
- Maintaining a fair, broad-based and competitive tax structure for Michigan businesses. Our competitive and simple corporate income tax is working for business, and it is working for Michigan.
- Supporting the Governor Whitmer’s Pathways Education Attainment Strategy, modeled after Tennessee’s successful Promise and Reconnect programs. In order to move Michigan forward, we must unite around a shared vision for upskilling our workforce and increasing degree attainment.
“We are in a global war for talent and need the best and brightest workforce to compete in the 21st century economy, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber.
“A shortage of talent is a top priority across the state and for all of our members. MI Reconnect, MI opportunity, and the Going Pro fund are large scale solutions we all support, that will begin to set the expectation that education does not end in high school for Michiganders,” said Veronica Horn, president and CEO of the Saginaw County Chamber.