Snyder praises county for Michigan’s economic rebound

Governor, Lt. gov. guest speakers at annual chamber luncheon

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published April 27, 2017

 Gov. Rick Snyder praises Macomb County during the luncheon.

Gov. Rick Snyder praises Macomb County during the luncheon.

Photo by Julie Snyder

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Both Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley made remarks during a recent Macomb Chamber Alliance event that Macomb County has been instrumental in Michigan’s economic rebound in recent years.

“Not long ago, Michigan was at the top of any list you want to be at the bottom of, and the bottom of any list you want to be at the top of,” Calley said. “Macomb County has been in the middle of our comeback. Macomb County is responsible for bringing Michigan back.”

The state leaders were the featured guests during the chamber’s April 24 invitation-only luncheon held at MacRay Banquet Center in Harrison Township.

Before introducing Snyder to the podium, Calley spoke of various topics that once had Michigan in a state of fear for the future, such as declining income, record foreclosures, younger residents leaving the state for work, and “years of financial mismanagement.”

“Michigan has always been about winning,” he said, touching on such recent accomplishments as the recently approved early budget, the addition of nearly 500,000 private-sector jobs since 2010, and an unemployment rate below 5 percent. “The unemployment rate has been cut in half, our labor force is growing and, most importantly, our kids are finding opportunity here. We’re winning for Michigan.”

Calley, whose daughter is autistic, said he’s learned a tremendous amount about educating young children through his experiences with special education, and feels children need to be prepared more for the real world rather than just testing.

During the luncheon, Snyder answered questions about the sinkhole in Fraser as well as the ongoing Flint water crisis.

“We need higher standards in how we do water testing and monitoring,” he said.

The governor reiterated his stance on  job creation and getting today’s students interested in more technical trades outside of high school, and he pitched a challenge to Michigan business leaders to continue forward.

“We need to just stay on the gas,” Snyder said. “When you have a good thing going, you don’t slow down — you accelerate.”

Snyder also voiced concern about the state of political attitudes.

“We haven’t seen more political polarization than we have in recent months,” he said.

“We have to find a way to overcome that. We are the greatest country in the world.”

Before Calley and Snyder took the stage, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel told the crowd that he is supportive of what the governor and lieutenant governor are doing in Lansing and in Macomb County. He said that earlier that morning, he and Snyder welcomed a delegation from Israel, which visited the Velocity Center in Sterling Heights and spoke about opportunities for defense contracts, something the county is known for.

“We are the defense capital of the world. Period,” Hackel said.

This was the first local business luncheon that Calley has attended with Snyder, igniting speculation — just as an online ad campaign he had released that morning did — that he will be running for governor in 2018.

“Many of you have seen an ad that came out today, so you know that there’s a very exciting announcement coming on May 30, so stay tuned, continue the win for Michigan,” Calley said. “It just makes sense, I think, to really right now set the stage in letting people know who I am, where my heart is, what drives me as a leader, and then also to remind people about how far we’ve come within the last six years.”

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