Putting Michigan back to work is my first priority. Although there is no magic bullet that can immediately diversify Michigan's economy, state leaders must improve the ill-advised formula that has resulted in the uncompetitive nature of our state's business climate. Making bold reforms in Lansing will be a critical first step towards encouraging new businesses and industry sectors to grow, and ultimately put Michigan workers back on the job. Creating the environment that will increase the number of good-paying jobs for Michigan's workers is also essential for retaining our young adults, who this state desperately needs if we are to sustain our quality of life and reverse the downward trend of the previous decade.
Simply put, my plan to create jobs will include reforming the overly complex tax structure that has contributed to our state's economic decline. Moreover, I will seek to reduce the bureaucratic barriers that force potential employers to locate elsewhere. Encouraging companies and small businesses to expand their operations in Michigan is essential to creating more jobs. Ultimately, working families are hurt most when we allow jobs to be shipped across state lines and overseas.
Many recent studies have confirmed that Michigan's business tax structure is uncompetitive. Maintaining our current path will further strain remaining businesses and working families at a time when we cannot afford further job losses or cuts to essential public services. With our state's world-class universities and research capabilities, knowledgeable engineers, skilled workforce, and production capacity, Michigan has the potential to be a leader in 21st Century knowledge-based and manufacturing industries.
Working as a project manager and business strategy consultant in the private sector has provided me with unique insight into the complexities of creating, maintaining, and growing a business. As your next State Senator, it is my promise to you that I will work vigorously to change well-intentioned but harmful policies that have contributed to our unemployment crisis. Specifically, I will:
* Bring together business, labor, and government officials to establish clear goals and a long-term plan for job creation in Michigan
* Establish benchmarks that state government must meet in the areas of efficiency and economic competitiveness
* Advocate for reforming the business tax structure to compete with states that have shown the highest increase in jobs and economic growth
* Incentivize growth industries, particularly in the high-tech, healthcare and life sciences, and clean energy industries
* Ensure continued funding towards educational programs to re-train displaced workers