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Whitmer wants ‘more resources’ for Michigan’s economic development arm

Whitmer wants ‘more resources’ for Michigan’s economic development arm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer encouraged the Michigan Legislature on Tuesday to work with her to increase the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s “resources” and “procedural and legal tools” in a bid to attract more businesses. 

The Democratic governor in her letter cited Ford Motor Co.’s decision last week to locate an $11.4 billion electric vehicle and battery investment in Tennessee and Kentucky instead of the company’s home state. 

Whitmer said last week she was eager to put solutions on the table to convince Ford to locate in Michigan, but the state was never given a “real opportunity.”

In her Tuesday letter outlining priorities for collaboration with the Legislature, Whitmer said there are still projects “in our pipeline,” including medical device development, the future of mobility electrification and biotech. 

“That means we need sites that are ready for factories to be built, thousands of highly skilled workers with in-demand skills and training, and a high quality of life for families,” Whitmer wrote.

In total, Whitmer said, there are 22,500 jobs and $67 billion in investments that could come to Michigan through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. 

“Together, we can equip MEDC with more resources and more advanced procedural and legal tools that will enable them to be even more aggressive in pursuing projects and competing to win,” Whitmer wrote. 

The letter appeared to be dead on arrival with Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, who questioned Whitmer’s plan to close Enbridge’s Line 5 through the Straits of Mackinac.