A state is only as strong as its people. And Michigan has been losing them.
We’re now one of 36% of states seeing population declines. That means young people and families believe they have to leave in order to achieve their dreams and establish their careers.
Even with all of the advancements we’ve made — including achieving the best-performing economy in the nation after the COVID-19 pandemic per Bloomberg, and our ranking as a top 10 state for business by CNBC — too many people believe their future is outside of Michigan.
Since August, chief growth officer Hilary Doe and her team have connected with thousands of residents, listening to their hopes and visions for how to help Michigan keep more of them here. The team has also received more than 10,000 survey responses from people across the state who have creative ideas about how we can attract and retain talent.
Growing Michigan Together workgroups were tasked with making recommendations that we believe will reverse this loss and spur growth across our state. As members of the Growing Michigan Together PreK-12 Education workgroup, we engaged in deep conversation and presented serious solutions that echo what we’re hearing from Michiganians and experts.
The evidence is overwhelming. If we’re going to grow the state, we have to ensure that every Michiganian, regardless of where they live or how much they make, can get a great education that leads to a great future. We also have to attract talent, good-paying jobs and boost quality of life with walkable vibrant central cities.
We need real, lasting investment in our infrastructure.
We are proud to say that the recommendations we made are bold, thoughtful strategies that will move Michigan forward. Some require rethinking how we invest in our schools and communities, and if the state is serious about keeping and attracting people, it’s an essential effort that’s worthy of the investment.
We welcome the Council’s discussion and debate of all of our proposals and the public engagement feedback as it’s determined which recommendations will be presented to the governor.
We cannot let this continue. We either take bold action now and reverse this trend or do the same thing we’ve always done and fall further behind.
Angelique Power is president & CEO of The Skillman Foundation. Donna Lasinski is vice president of Michigan Future Inc. Both are members of the Growing Michigan Together Council PK-12 Education Workgroup.
Source: Detroit News