SAGINAW – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm took her “manufacturing matters” message to Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems today. In an open panel discussion with Delphi employees, Granholm outlined her Manufacturing Matters initiative and praised the company, the workforce, and local and state officials for their collaborative efforts in securing Delphi’s continued commitment of investment and jobs in Saginaw.
During the past three years, Michigan has lost more than 170,000 manufacturing jobs, following a national trend. The manufacturing industry employs approximately one out of every five workers in Michigan.
“Keeping manufacturing strong in Michigan requires strong leadership and collaboration,” Granholm said. “Engaging in open discussion is essential to continue the example of success that Delphi Steering Systems has achieved. The manufacturing workforce plays a critical role in the future of the industry.”
Thursday’s meeting was one of many planned discussions in advance of a Manufacturing Matters summit the Governor will convene with business, labor, and economic leaders later this year. Granholm outlined her manufacturing initiative and opened the floor to general discussion. A four-member panel of state, local, and company officials joined the Governor to address questions on their organizations’ role in the ongoing success of the Delphi Steering Systems.
“We applaud Governor Granholm’s strong support for manufacturing and the spotlight she has placed on this critical sector of the economy,” said Robert J. Remenar, president of Delphi Steering Systems and vice president of Delphi Corporation. “We appreciate the efforts to support manufacturing and manufacturing jobs in Michigan.It is only through collaboration between our state and local government, as well as working closely with our UAW partners, that we will meet the competitive challenges already upon us.”
The panel included Robert J. Remenar, Delphi Steering Systems president; Dave Schabel, UAW Local 699 shop committeeman; JoAnn Crary, Saginaw Future president; and Kathy Blake, senior vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Granholm has urged her fellow Governors in the industrial states to convene similar summits to set the stage for a discussion in Washington, D.C. on why manufacturing matters.Among the issues Granholm has identified as a starting point for those discussions are the following:
- Give manufacturers the tools they need to compete and win. The federal government must recognize and support its importance by becoming an active partner in our effort to strengthen manufacturing through policy that will
Replace the Foreign Sales Corporation/Extraterritorial Income (ETI) rules with a similar tax structure that rewards manufacturers who keep jobs here.
Create better federal training and retraining programs for manufacturing workers, especially for high-wage, high-skill workers.
Encourage innovation in manufacturing technology at the federal level by increasing funding of the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) and supporting additional funding for manufacturing research and development.
Insisting that trade agreements better account for issues such as the use of internationally recognized labor standards, government subsidies, and the need for environmental standards overseas.
Ending discriminatory currency manipulation.
Enforcing and strengthening intellectual property protections.
- Support manufacturers that provide quality worker benefits.Providing quality healthcare and pension benefits to our workers is critically important.To address this issue we must:
Avoid penalizing manufacturers with our pension laws.
Cover prescription drug costs through Medicare.
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