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Business leaders present plan to fix Michigan to AIA Detroit

Detroit GM Renaissance Center
Detroit GM Renaissance Center
photo by Andra Miliacca

Last week, the Detroit chapter of the American Institute of Architects hosted Sabrina Keeley, Chief Operating Officer of Business Leaders for Michigan, for a presentation on the Michigan Turnaround Plan developed by her organization. Keeley is responsible for overseeing the execution of the organization's work plan, including its policy advocacy and economic development initiatives. She has been a leader in attracting federal resources back to the region and organizing major urban development projects.

Keeley described how Michigan was a leading state for economic growth just two generations ago. During the past generation it has become economically poorer, smaller and less competitive. Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state again for job and economic growth, and has offered a plan to get Michigan back on track.

Important Fact: Michigan lost more private sector jobs since the year 2000 than any other state with nearly 50% of U.S. job losses since 2000 being in Michigan.

The Michigan Turnaround Plan is a strategy that lays out the case for change, sets achievable goals, identifies specific action steps, and explains the impact of change. Michigan’s largest job providers and universities have united behind the plan and are committed to implementing it. The plan will create jobs and position Michigan for long-term, sustained economic growth through five strategies:

1. Changing the way the state manages its finances: Reigning in over-projected revenues to prevent chronic budget crises, and establishing long-term financial planning.

2. Budget right-sizing and long-term reform: Achieve sustainable finances by addressing public employee compensation and benefits, spending reductions, service-sharing, and eliminate duplicate public services and programs.

3. Getting Michigan competitive to attract and retain jobs: Develop a competitive business tax structure that reflects Michigan’s changing economy, providing a stable tax environment for businesses.

4. Making investments that create a great job environment: Set priorities and invest budget resources in areas that will have the greatest long-term economic impact, such as infrastructure, higher education and urban development.

5. Accelerating job growth through innovation and entrepreneurship: Shift the economic development strategy toward supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across all sectors.

Business Leaders for Michigan is determined to raise public awareness, offer leadership and expertise, and monitor progress to ensure success. If you are interested in learning more or want to find out what you can do to support and advance these efforts to create a better future for our state, visit

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