DETROIT (WWJ) — Strategies for accelerating the state’s economic transformation took center stage in East Lansing Monday, as nearly 500 business and policy executives came together to discuss ways to build the next Michigan economy.

Hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan, the statewide CEO successor group to Detroit Renaissance, the “leadership summit” offered a forum for participants to hear about the state’s recent progress in six areas identified in BLM’s New Michigan strategy as having the greatest potential to grow good jobs quickly and a sustainable economy.

BLM CEO Doug Rothwell noted that jobs in the six identified “opportunity areas” are growing at twice the rate of job growth in the state as a whole, with more than 40 percent of all jobs created in Michigan in those areas, at an average salary of $65,356, more than 40 percent higher than industry overall.

The six areas and the latest information on them:
* Global Engineering Village: Michigan continues to rank in the top U.S. states for engineering graduates, patents awarded, and number of engineers per capita.
* Gateway to the Midwest: Michigan continues to rank well above average in this opportunity area. Recent developments include the establishment of a new Logistics and Supply Chain Commission and strategy, and strengthening VantagePort (formerly Detroit Region Aerotropolis).
* Higher Education Marketplace: Michigan is ranked among the nation’s Top 10 for total degrees awarded, total enrollment, and STEM degrees awarded. If state-level appropriations can increase, along with out-of-state enrollment, Michigan can further capitalize on this strong economic driver.
* Natural Resources Economy: The Great Lakes State is well positioned to supply commodities, green energy sources, and other natural resources to global markets, particularly with the New International Trade Crossing in place. Coupled with a strong tourism sector, the state has strong geographic assets to leverage.
* Global Center of Mobility: The state’s automotive history offers a strong base for developing next-generation vehicles and multi-modal sustainable transportation.
* Life Sciences Hub: Michigan’s strong bio-sciences sector can help meet increasing global demand for quality of life solutions. During 2013, the state attracted more than $70 million in venture capital investment to support new life sciences technologies, and ranked in the Top 10 for the number of clinical biopharmaceutical trials.

For a full copy of BLM’s report Growing a New Michigan: The 2014 Report on Michigan’s Progress in Six Opportunities, visit this link.


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