If global companies are looking to grow and add jobs, they need look no further than the great state of Michigan. That was the essential message of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week in Washington, D.C. where she has been making the business case for Michigan, when it comes to global high-tech and manufacturing investments at the SelectUSA Investment Summit, taking place today in the nation’s capital.
SelectUSA is hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and supports global businesses seeking opportunities to expand and create jobs in the United States. More than 3,000 global business investors, C-suite executives, economic developers, and government officials are attending the annual conference.
Whitmer contends, “Michigan’s strong economy and talented workforce have made our state a desirable location for new investment from companies around the world,” and adds, “Michigan is home to one of the most intelligent, savvy and resilient workforces in the nation and we are here to deliver the message that Michigan is the premier location for global companies looking to expand and create jobs in the United States.”
Gov. Whitmer participated in a panel discussing the growing challenges and opportunities for advancement in the field of biotechnology related to investments in the U.S. market. During the panel, moderated by Nina Urban, Associated Director, FastForward, John Hopkins Technology Ventures, Gov. Whitmer highlighted Michigan’s efforts to cultivate an environment where high-tech and bio-tech companies can thrive, while also addressing the growing need for talent within these industries.
While at SelectUSA, Whitmer also held meetings with executives from global companies to strengthen ties in Michigan, including global auto supplier Magna International, multinational car manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd., and Oerlikon Metco, a global leader in additive manufacturing.
Governor Whitmer was joined by Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Jeff Mason at SelectUSA. Yesterday, Mason took part in a roundtable hosted by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the Semiconductor Industry Association discussing semiconductor investments in the U.S. That roundtable included multinational semiconductor firm executives and high-level federal officials. Michigan was one of three states represented at the roundtable.
Highlighting Michigan’s emerging leadership in the semiconductor field, just yesterday Silicon Valley-based KLA Corporation, a leading provider of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nanoelectronics industries, held a grand opening ceremony for its new research-and-development center in Ann Arbor. Announced in October, the project is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $70 million and create 500 high-tech jobs over the next five years.
MEDC’s Mason says, “With the highest concentration of engineering talent in the nation, along with a number of nationally recognized and accredited universities, Michigan has the skilled workforce and research expertise needed to drive the next generation of automotive innovation,” and concludes, “Michigan’s semiconductor industry has grown dramatically over the past five years, adding momentum to our economic growth and putting Michigan squarely on the map of Silicon-Valley based companies looking for opportunities to expand.”