About 450 policy and business leaders met at a summit hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan to talk about the "new Michigan strategy." They say pushing economic growth is about further developing industries like engineering, auto, higher education, and tourism.
"Each one of these is a potential driver for not just more jobs, but dramatically more jobs," said Doug Rothwell, CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.
In fact, they hope to create 500,000 new jobs and boost personal income by up to $18,000 per person within the next decade. Local leaders at the summit say they feel positive about the state's overall economic growth, but some cities are in desperate shape. Former Lansing Mayor David Hollister is part of Mayor Virg Bernero's financial health team, charged with the task of coming up with ways to fix the city's finances.
"The funding mechanism, the way we finance local government is broken and needs to be fixed," Hollister said.
According to Hollister, if no changes are made, more urban cities in Michigan could face insolvancy and risk getting an emergency manager in the next five to seven years.
"They've got an older infrastructure. They've got population loss, they've got major drop in property tax and housing values," said Hollister.
However, Hollister's team has a plan for addressing the problems and the message at the business summit is that Michigan is showing strong signs of recovery.