Governor Whitmer Wraps Up Economic Mission in California, Pitches Michigan for New Jobs and Semiconductor Investment

Friday, November 17, 2023

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wraps up a three-day investment mission to California today, where she met with leadership from semiconductor companies and promoted Michigan as a leading state in semiconductor manufacturing and developing the semiconductor workforce of the future. Her delegation includes Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. and other MEDC officials.

Today, the governor and her delegation joined leaders from imec, the world’s leading semiconductor research consortium, alongside semiconductor industry leaders to discuss continuing support for the Michigan Semiconductor Talent and Automotive Research (Michigan STAR) initiative, a global semiconductor center of excellence that was announced in May 2023. Also participating in the meeting were leaders from semiconductor company KLA, the University of Michigan, and Washtenaw Community College.

The Michigan STAR initiative will focus on developing the talent base and infrastructure necessary to accelerate advanced semiconductor applications for electrification and autonomous mobility and move the automotive industry toward a more high-tech future. Today’s meeting comes on the heels of the Michigan legislature recently approving a combined $10 million in funding to assist in moving the STAR initiative forward in the year to come.

On Thursday, the governor attended the 2023 Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) Awards Dinner and participated in the SIA CEO Roundtable, where she joined a number of executives from semiconductor companies from around the U.S. and discussed how Michigan is developing the semiconductor workforce of the future. The roundtable focused on the need to increase the U.S. supply of top STEM talent in order to compete for and win in semiconductors and the transformative technologies of the future.

Michigan’s semiconductor workforce ranks among the top 10 in the nation, with job growth of at least 11 percent projected in the next five years. In an effort to make Michigan a top state for semiconductor talent solutions and growth, the MEDC launched the new Semiconductor Talent Action Team in November 2022. The Talent Action Team works across the public sector, industry partners, and training institutions to identify a clear set of semiconductor-specific curricula and R&D investments, placing Michigan in a strong position to attract long-term, sustainable investments from semiconductor companies around the world.

“Team Michigan is here delivering the message that we’ll work with anyone and compete with everyone to build the ecosystem needed to support the semiconductor industry in Michigan,” Messer said. “With our skilled workforce, growing economy, and strong, business-friendly environment, Team Michigan is showing the world that the best place for semiconductor companies to invest and add jobs is in Michigan. We’ll keep competing to win projects that bring good-paying, high-skill jobs home so everyone, in any community, can ‘make it in Michigan.’ Work remains and we will keep building on the mission’s progress.”

Gov. Whitmer’s mission is the second trip to California she’s taken since being in office. In December 2019, the governor spent two days in Silicon Valley, where she met with tech and mobility companies to build relationships, promote business investment and grow talent opportunities in Michigan.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.