Ford Motor Company recently made headlines for selecting Marshall, Michigan, in the southwestern part of our state for a $2.5B electric-vehicle battery plant. We applaud Ford for making this decision. The significant investment dollars sound good but how does this directly impact our economy and goal toward becoming a top 10 state for site selection and economic development? Why do we think Ford picked Marshall?
We have some educated guesses. In 2022, Ford announced an investment in Kentucky and in 2021 an investment in Texas – both fellow right-to-work states, confirming that investments favor selecting regions with RTW laws in place.
Based on what site selectors, like the ones who vetted if Marshall was a prime spot to open this plant, research and look is for the business climate’s impact on attraction and retention.
“Some of those best practices are permit reform, making sure businesses get speed to market…as efficiently as possible. Number two, tax reform, and Michigan ranks pretty well with other states but needs to look for better ways to improve. Need to invest in infrastructure…speaking of the workforce, one of the points I made is the importance of business involvement to make sure Michigan retains the young people and kids in this state,” shared Christopher D. Lloyd, senior vice president at McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, who travels the country consulting with business leaders and corporations on how to improve, and who spoke at our last conference on-site selectors top ten.
“We need a total package to attract businesses to come here,” reinforced Dr. Stan Veuger, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, on Michigan’s best and worst national site selection and what’s keeping Michigan from being a top 10 state.
“Michigan’s small businesses are still facing challenges as they continue to invest and grow in Michigan,” recently shared Brian Calley, president and CEO of SBAM. Another factor we all need to consider: why are we giving billions to corporations and not giving the same support to small and medium-sized businesses?
To make Michigan a top 10 state, we need a combination of policies that support a pro-business environment and a high quality of life for their employees. Big business incentives won’t cut it and bills currently in the legislature would make it harder to provide jobs here in Michigan. We need business leaders, legislators and the general public to all come together to make this possible. After all, politicians can’t truly be pro-jobs if they pursue policies that are anti-job-provider.
Contact your local legislator today and tell them we need Michigan’s legislature to keep right-to-work to keep investments coming to our state.