This week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer launched her economic plan to spend the federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan in a way that invests in Michigan’s people and it’s future. Whitmer plans to make transformational investments in three core areas: Health, Infrastructure and Economic Opportunity.
According to a release sent out by the Governor’s office, the Governor is proposing to grow the middle class and educate workers, the Governor is calling for a $215 million expansion of Michigan Reconnect and Future for Frontliners, $70 million investment to growing the pipeline of talented workers to industry, a $100 million influx for the Going Pro credential program, and further investments in programs that offer work experience to Michiganders earning their GEDs and help those reentering society after incarceration transition into the workforce.
To support small businesses and create better jobs, the Governor is building on her $300 million Michigan Mainstreet Initiative, which offers grants to restaurants, place-based businesses, and microenterprises with further dollars to attract more start-ups. She outlined a $200 million investment to create a more conducive business environment for high-tech, high-growth start-ups and create jobs of the future in Michigan. The Governor put forward $40 million to speed up electric vehicle charging infrastructure and $100 million to prepare manufacturers and the workforce for opportunities of the future. Finally, she proposed an $11 million investment into the STEM Forward program, which places STEM students in internships in Michigan and improves talent attraction and retention.
“Since day one, I have been laser-focused on putting Michiganders first and tackling kitchen-table issues with real, tangible solutions.” said Governor Whitmer. “As we emerge from the once-in-a-century pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use billions in federal resources to grow Michigan’s middle class, support small businesses, and invest in our communities. With the $2.1 billion in proposals I have laid out, we can raise wages, give people paths to high-skill jobs, grow start-ups, build clean energy infrastructure, and do so much more. I’m utilizing every resource and ensuring that we continue to take bold action to help families, communities and small businesses thrive. Together, we can usher in new era of prosperity for Michigan.”
While the Governor has released a detailed plan, the Republican-led legislature has not yet taken up legislation to invest in Michigan workers, health or infrastructure at the time of publication.