HARRISON TOWNSHIP — During his May 16 visit to Harrison Township, Gov. Rick Snyder seemed to be in high spirits.
That’s because the Republican, who is seeking a second four-year term this year, is optimistic about the “comeback” for Michigan, as well as Macomb County.
“The state of the state of Michigan is it’s good,” he said during the Macomb Chamber’s annual luncheon at MacRay Harbor. “It is improving and we’re on a path to being great again.”
Repeating his campaign stance, Snyder touted growth, jobs and education.
“Michigan ranks first in the country for recovering the most from a great recession; in 2009, we were at the bottom,” he said. “We’ve come back.”
Turning his focus on Macomb County, Snyder called the area “a leader in the automotive industry.”
Snyder mentioned manufacturers like GM’s new data center, Chrysler and the defense industry.
“It’s great to go visit General Dynamic Lands Systems (in Sterling Heights); they’re doing wonderful work, and they’re working with (U.S. Army) TACOM (in Warren). There are a lot of small and medium businesses, tool and die and production companies. ... I think it’s really cool that you can go from everything from some of the largest manufacturers in the world to a 100-year-old orchard (in Macomb County),” he said.
He said the county has a lot to be proud of.
“Macomb is our third largest county in Michigan, in terms of population, and it has this great breadth of organizations and enterprises that I think makes it a great role model for Michigan.”
Snyder also focusetd part of his 30-minute speech on job creation and getting today’s students interested in more technical trades outside of high school.
He said it’s the private sector, not the government, that creates jobs, but added that the government needs to sustain an environment where jobs can grow.
“When you have a growing workforce, it actually makes it more difficult to bring down your unemployment rate,” he said, adding that in 2013, Michigan ranked ninth in the nation, in terms of per capita income increases. “Where the national workforce in the last year or so has been relatively flat, Michigan’s workforce has been increasing because people have more confidence in Michigan’s economy and being here.
“Michigan’s economy is doing well and is coming back.”
The governor also spoke about his belief that schools need to refocus on skilled trades because, he said, such training can lead to better-paying jobs.
“We have a skills gap. Let’s lead the nation in closing that skills gap,” Snyder said