GRAND RAPIDS – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm met with The Right Place Manufacturers Council today to outline her “manufacturing matters” initiative.In an open panel discussion with West Michigan manufacturing executives, she commended the council for its long-standing work on behalf of the state’s manufacturing industry.
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 and proactive thinking as displayed by the Manufacturers Council plays a critical role in the ensuring the future of the industry.”
Tuesday’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.
The discussion panel, held at Irwin Seating Co., included 15 high-ranking West Michigan manufacturing officials representing: Autocam Corp., Cascade Engineering Inc., Clipper Belt Lacer Co., G&T Industries Inc., GR Spring & Stamping Inc., Grand Haven Stamped Products, H&H Metal Source, Irwin Seating Co., Monarch Hydraulics Inc., The Right Place, Inc., Steelcase, Inc., Viking Group, Inc. and Wolverine Coil Spring Co.
“We’re delighted that the Governor is askingWest Michigan manufacturers for their input into her statewide strategy to maintain and grow these important jobs for the state,” said Birgit Klohs, president of The Right Place, Inc. “Last year, The Right Place published a position paper on the importance of manufacturing to the national economy and strategies to support this sector. We are pleased to see so many elements of those recommendations appearing on state and national agendas.”
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 is the need to do the following:
- Give manufacturers the tools they need to compete and win.
- Level the playing field in the global marketplace.
- Support manufacturers that provide quality worker benefits.
The Right Place Manufacturers Council was established in 1989 to organize manufacturers' individual interests into a common purpose: to implement the principles and practices of world-class manufacturing. Composed of West Michigan manufacturing executives, the council provides area manufacturers with a forum for networking, sharing best practices and community involvement.
Founded in 1985, The Right Place, Inc. is a regional, nonprofit economic development organization that is directed by a board consisting of business and community leaders. Its mission is to promote area economic growth through high-quality employment, productivity and technology.For more information, visit www.rightplace.org.
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