Good Jobs for Michigan program delivers on promises made, deserves renewal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 

CONTACT: Sara Wurfel, 517-599-3470 or swurfel@truscottrossman.com

Economic development incentive tool responsible for creating more than 8,200 new jobs in multiple industries; generating $5.1 billion in investment across state to date

Lansing, Mich. — The Good Jobs for Michigan program has proven itself in two short years by attracting major projects creating 8,200 new jobs and generating more than $5 billion of investment, and it unequivocally should be renewed, according to dozens of members of the diverse Good Jobs for Michigan Coalition attending and testifying in support of Senate Bill 492 at today’s Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee hearing.

“This program has done exactly what it set out to do. We’ve seen that firsthand with projects across the state, including the very first Good Jobs program in one of our region’s communities of Portage,” said Ron Kitchens, CEO and senior partner of Southwest Michigan First. “This tool was instrumental in helping land Pfizer’s $465 million advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing facility with 450 new jobs. That’s an investment that builds the state’s health sciences prowess and ensures a strong, vibrant economy that grows opportunities and paychecks for Michiganders. It’s critical this tool continues.”

The Good Jobs tool provides an incentive in the form of a return of state personal income taxes for employers that create 250, 500, or 3,000 new jobs in Michigan for a period of five to 10 years depending on meeting at least 100% to 125% of the regional average wage. The program was created to ensure Michigan was no longer the only other state besides Alaska with a corporate income tax and ZERO tax credits to attract new jobs and large-scale projects that could help strengthen and diversify Michigan’s economy. It is currently slated to sunset at the end of this year without enacting SB 492.

The fifth and latest Good Jobs project was just announced in late September – the new $33 million global headquarters of insurance and risk management broker Acrisure to downtown Grand Rapids with 400 new jobs. According to Brad Comment, vice president of investor relations for The Right Place, which helped pull together the deal, “Thanks to the Good Jobs program, Michigan was able compete for a project of this magnitude, beating out major metropolitan areas like Chicago and New York and positively impacting the entire region and state. Michigan simply can’t afford to lose the Good Jobs tool.”

The Good Jobs Program was passed with an initial $200 million cap, which is almost exhausted and would prevent other projects from happening.

The case for continuation of the Good Jobs program couldn’t be clearer for us,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, director of economic development at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “We’re competing right now for a transformational, once-in-a-generation project that could reclaim a sprawling, long empty site in the city of Flint and create 2,000 good-paying jobs that would provide tremendous quality of life opportunities for families. We must be able to keep Michigan in the running. The Good Jobs tool would allow us to do that and make a real difference in a hard-hit area of our state. We urge the Michigan Legislature’s action.”

The Good Jobs incentive was designed with numerous safeguards to protect both taxpayers and communities. Specific provisions include:

  • Being performance based. No jobs, no incentive. Period.
  • Being transparent and accountable. Jobs numbers and wages verified annually. Details of approved fully and publicly disclosed. And effectiveness of program independently evaluated.
  • Being predictable. A cap on the number of projects with no favoring of one project or industry over another.
  • Being supported locally by the local community/unit of government where the project will locate or expand.
  • Being positive with projects always requiring a positive revenue gain and stipulating that the jobs would not be here if not for the incentive.

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About Good Jobs for Michigan

Good Jobs for Michigan is a coalition of more than 65 leading business and economic development, community and labor organizations all working together to ensure Michigan has the economic development and incentive tools needed to compete and attract large-scale projects, growing more good-paying jobs and investments in communities throughout the state.  For more information about the legislation and full list of coalition partners, visit www.GoodJobsForMichigan.com.

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