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Economic Development Leaders for Michigan Calls for Passage of Employment Opportunity Act

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Today, Economic Development Leaders for Michigan (EDLM) and Southwest Michigan First called for quick passage of the Michigan Employment Opportunity Act. The legislation would restore economic incentives from Good Jobs for Michigan, a key tool in attracting transformational projects to the state, but with additional tiers allowing the incentives to apply to smaller rural counties.

“Michigan has been at a competitive disadvantage with other states since this legislation expired,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, president, and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership and chair of EDLM. “Good Jobs for Michigan was a proven tool. This new legislation can help attract transformational projects and good-paying jobs to communities of all sizes in Michigan. As we all work to accelerate economic growth amid the pandemic, it’s important the Legislature pass this bill quickly.”

Under Michigan’s Senate Bill 615, as introduced by Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), companies can receive performance-based incentives for creating jobs that meet or exceed the average wage in the regions they are located. Companies benefitting from the Michigan Employment Opportunity Act only receive the incentive when they are paying the wages of the jobs they committed to creating. The incentives are funded through a personal income tax capture at no up-front cost to the state.

“In order for Southwest Michigan First’s efforts to catalyze economic growth in our region to continue to be successful, we need competitive tools to support the attraction of new companies with good-paying jobs. Effective state tools are essential to making this happen in today’s highly competitive global economy, as other states and nations are coming to the table well-prepared. This bill and the tool itself will greatly increase our ability to attract companies in our key market sectors benefiting our communities in multiple ways with both equitable wages and tax revenue generation─at no upfront cost to taxpayers,” explained Carla Sones, president and interim CEO of Southwest Michigan First.

As introduced, the legislation has tiered job-creation criteria for counties of different sizes:

  • Populations of 250,000 and above (must create 250 to 3,000 jobs)
  • Populations of 90,001 to 249,999 (100 to 500 jobs)
  • Populations of 90,000 or below (50 to 250 jobs)

The original Good Jobs for Michigan legislation expired in 2019. In just two years, the program was responsible for a commitment of more than 11,300 good-paying jobs and generating more than $6.6 billion in private sector investment through six large-scale projects across the state, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

About Economic Development Leaders for Michigan

Economic Development Leaders for Michigan (EDLM) is a coalition of 12 leading regional economic development organizations throughout the state. Established in June 2020, EDLM’s goal is to accelerate Michigan’s economy by securing the necessary tools to stimulate growth.

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