This is a foundation report that sets the stage for our initiatives to help create a prosperous Michigan. The reality in Michigan is startling – it has experienced six years of employment decline (2000-2006), even during three years of a national economic upturn. Unlike the relative prosperity it enjoyed for most of last century, Michigan is now below the national average in per capita income. The key cause is that Michigan has been slow to adapt to a rapidly changing global economy and the path forward will require concentrating in knowledge-based enterprises that are seeing the fastest growth and the highest pay.
The New Agenda for a New Michigan report strives to provide recommendations to reverse the trend and to put Michigan back on a path to prosperity, which we define as above the national average in per capita income in both upturns and downturns. In our report, we recommend building a culture that is aligned with a flat world that values learning, entrepreneurship, and diversity. It means investing in higher education first and foremost with recommendations to give autonomy to public institutions of higher learning, match federal research dollars with state funding, and fund students rather than institutions. It will also requires an ability to attract talent, which means building regions that are attractive places to live and have vibrant central city neighborhoods and right level of infrastructure (which now means advanced connections to internet, international airports, and green infrastructure). The path forward also includes an increased focus on attracting export-based business investment, aligning k-12 education with a knowledge-driven economy, and having strong civic, business, and political leadership.
To see the full report and recommendations, click here