TRAVERSE CITY (WWJ) – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says he’s joined with the governors of Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri in a bi-partisan “Governor’s Auto Caucus” aimed at supporting the auto industry.

INTERVIEW: Governor Rick Snyder talks with reporters, including WWJ’s Jeff Gilbert, about the election and the auto industry.

“If you look at it, don’t we all have a vested interest in having that better organized and structured and stuff,” said Snyder, in Traverse City, after speaking at the Management Briefing Seminars.

Snyder said that while Michigan will continue competing with other states for auto jobs, there are a lot of areas where states can work together. He said that ranges from developing a national manufacturing policy, to working on new techology.

“The unmanned vehicles, how we look at that longer term, computer assisted vehicles, how do we set standards between states,” Snyder said.

The governor said he’d love to see others states join this effort, and would welcome the participation of Canadian provinces.

One of the biggest issues, Snyder said, that the auto industry faces is attracting and training new talent. He said there are 80,000 open jobs in the state, that aren’t being filled because unique skills are needed. Filling those jobs, Snyder said, could cut Michigan’s jobless rate by two full points.

Since the recession, Snyder said Michigan’s auto industry has added 20,000 jobs, and doubled production.

“Your success is making a big difference,” Snyder told the executives gathered for the annual meeting. “You had a huge challenge, and you had to re-invent yourself.”

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will speak at this event’s final session on Thursday.

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Twitter: @jefferygilbert


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