Granholm Hopes to Bring Jobs from Sweden, Germany

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

The mission is jobs.

"We want to make sure that if you're considering an investment in North America, you should be coming to Michigan," Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday.

The governor will leave Saturday to visit three cities in Sweden. She'll also spend time in Germany.

It's a trip she calls "part prospecting and part deal-closing." That means job announcements are likely when the governor returns Friday.

Her itinerary includes meetings with a number of auto parts suppliers but not Volkswagen AG. The Detroit News reports the company is thinking about thousands of jobs out of the state. Granholm says it's on her radar screen.

"We will definitely make the case for them to stay in Michigan," she said.

The other big component of the trip will be talking biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. Sweden has set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.

Michigan State University researchers will be traveling with the governor. (They'll be blogging about their trip.) And she says it's not just about learning from Sweden's example.

"We want to take advantage in terms of bringing those jobs here," Granholm said.

Bringing jobs back is, of course, critical to rebuilding the Michigan economy. But perhaps just as important is the stability that would come from having a state budget in place. On that front, the governor says her office is doing its part.

"Bob Emerson, the budget director, is over there every single day talking to members when they are there -- but they're not there," she said. "They're not even scheduled. They've got -- how many days do they have scheduled in September? -- nine days, nine days."

Senate Republican spokesman Matt Marsden said serious budget negotiations continue between Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) and House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford Twp.). He called the governor's remarks tiresome.

The state has until the end of September to eliminate its multi-billion dollar budget deficit.

Several sources close to the negotiations tell us it could come down to the last few days.


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