VIDEO: WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert interviews Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
TRAVERSE CITY — (WWJ) One day after the primary election, Governor Snyder told a major auto industry conference that a spirit of cooperation has helped turn the auto industry around.
“I believe the automotive industry is coming home,” said Snyder to start the third day of the Management Briefing Seminars. “Hopefully, we’re creating an enviornment where you’re seeing the best place to be is where many of you started. That’s right here in Michigan.”
Snyder will face Democrat Mark Schauer in the fall. Schauer is expected to use Michigan’s passage of right-to-work legislation as a main campaign rallying point. Snyder, however says, he feels he can make his case to some union members.
“I’m not pro our anti-union,” he said. “I’m pro worker, in terms of making sure we’re creating great, well-paying jobs. If they want to join a union, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s their decision also.”
The Governor has not yet met with new UAW President Dennis Williams. But he thinks they can work together on important issues.
“I would hope so,” said Snyder. “I believe that with anyone. I would hope they have a strong interest in seeing Michigan do well.”
Snyder says his top priority for the auto industry is attracting new talent. He admits some potential employees may be concerned because the industry was laying off workers five years ago. But, Snyder says he believes things have changed a lot in the past five years.
“The automotive industry had a lot of efficiency issues they had to deal with, a lot of problems. They’ve resolved those. If you look at the productivity in the auto industry, its fabulous today. That’s why it’s a good career now.”
Snyder says there are currently 70 thousand open positions in Michigan, many of which are not filled because the companies can’t find skilled workers.
“Here’s an opportunity to be there with the comeback of the auto industry. There’s a good run of 20, 30, 40 years of outstanding effort and well paying jobs.”
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