Gov. Whitmer announces the ‘Growing Michigan Together Council’ that will focus on population growth and building a brighter future for our state.
MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich.– (michigan.gov Press Release) Thursday, June 1, 2023, Governor Gretchen Whitmer established the Growing Michigan Together Council to develop a statewide strategy aimed at making Michigan a place everyone wants to call home by attracting and retaining talent, improving education throughout the state, upgrading and modernizing our transportation and water infrastructure to meet 21st century needs, and continuing Michigan’s economic momentum. Governor Whitmer announced bipartisan co-chairs Ambassador John Rakolta Jr. and Shirley Stancato who will lead the council in developing policies and goals to grow Michigan’s population.
“The best thing about Michigan are the people who call it home and this council will ensure our state is able to attract talent and provide expanding opportunities for families,” said Governor Whitmer. “Over the last few decades, we have seen Michiganders find opportunity elsewhere because jobs and talent have been pushed out of the state. Since taking office, I’ve made it a priority to change that narrative. We’re lowering costs, attracting good-paying jobs, investing in education from pre-school to post-secondary, protecting our natural resources, and expanding fundamental rights. With today’s announcement, we’re continuing our work to grow the state and build a better, stronger Michigan.”
Growing Michigan Together Council
The Growing Michigan Together Council will advise the governor on specific policies to grow Michigan’s population, including identifying a population goal for 2050. The council will also look at ways to prepare Michigan’s workforce for in-demand jobs and emerging industries by proposing initiatives to improve preK-12 educational outcomes and long-term funding solutions for higher education including financial aid. Additionally, to meet the needs of a growing, thriving population, the council will develop long-term, sustainable transportation and water infrastructure funding solutions.
The council will be made up of 28 members, 21 voting and 7 non-voting. In addition to the bipartisan co-chairs, voting members will be made up of two members of the Michigan House of Representatives, two members of the Michigan Senate, and the director of the department of Labor and Economic Opportunity(LEO)or their designee from within the department. The governor will also appoint to the council individuals that represent the interests of the private sector, labor, workforce development and talent, infrastructure, non-profit or philanthropy, and education with one appointee being under 25 years old.
Non-voting members will include the state budget director, state treasurer, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the chief executive and economic competitiveness officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the executive director of the Office of Global Michigan, or designees from within their respective departments. One individual with a background in economics, and one individual with a background in demography will also be appointed by the governor.
View Executive Order 2023-04.
Whitmer Administration’s Work Expanding Opportunity for Every Michigander
- Made the largest investment in preK-12 education four years in a row, delivered the highest per-pupil funding in Michigan history – without raising taxes – and closed the funding gap between schools.
- Created the Michigan Achievement Scholarship to lower the cost of college by thousands.
- Established Michigan Reconnect to offer Michiganders 25 and up tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate in high-demand careers. Proposed lowering the age for participants to 21, expanding eligibility to 350,000 more.
- In the 2024 executive budget recommendation, proposed investments to help more students graduate.
- Proposed Pre-K for All, saving families $10,000 a year and giving every kid a great start.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
- Added 61,000 jobs year over year and announced nearly 35,000 American jobs in the auto sector.
- In last 18 months, landed over $16 billion in projects and announced nearly 16,000 auto jobs to advance the future of manufacturing.
- Partnered with the City of Detroit, Ford, and Google on Michigan Central, a mobility innovation hub to attract and retain skilled talent and high-growth companies in Detroit.
- Launched the EV Jobs Academy, Mobility Talent Action Team, and MI EV Scholars Program to prepare Michigan’s workforce for electric vehicle sector jobs.
Transportation and Water Infrastructure
- Since 2019, fixed over 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges.
- Signed four bipartisan budgets, investing $15 billion to rebuild Michigan’s roads.
- Signed the Building Michigan Together Plan, investing $316 million into roads and bridges, $66million into pump station generators to keep highways clear during severe storms, $92 million to upgrade regional airports, and $2 billion to remove lead service lines, reduce toxic contaminants, rebuild water infrastructure and more.
- Launched the MI Clean Water Plan and invested an additional $2 billion to upgrade drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across the state, supporting 30,000 jobs.