economy

If you’ve ever been to the Detroit Institute of Arts, you’ve probably seen the Diego Rivera murals that fill the museum’s courtyard.

They capture a city that was once an industrial hub with behemoth steel machines and men on assembly lines. 

Today, however, Detroit is trying to become a different kind of hub: a tech hub. 

Things appear to be moving ahead for construction on a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor. Last week, a consortium of builders was chosen to construct the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

However, trade tensions between the U.S. and Canada continue to rise, and the Moroun family — owners of the rival Ambassador Bridge — recently ran an oppositional ad on Fox and Friends asking President Trump to stop construction of the bridge.

For decades, January in Southeast Michigan has meant it's time for the auto show.  

Thousands trek to Cobo Center for the North American International Auto Show, often picking their way through snow and ice, but it seems that the snow may give way to autumn leaves. 

More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of downtown Grand Rapids Tuesday in support of immigrants and protesting deportations.

Andy Johnston is the VP of government and corporate affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. He joined Stateside to explain how immigrants play a crucial role in the Grand Rapids economy.

Detroit's back in control of its finances: it's out of oversight.

It's a big moment for a city that only three years ago exited the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley joined Stateside today to explain what exactly being out of oversight means for Detroit and its people.

With the weather warming up and the sun chasing away memories of the long stretch of cold, icy weather that lasted well into April, many Michigan communities are ramping up for tourist season.

That season is the economic lifeblood of many areas in Michigan, like Ludington, for instance.

 

 

One month ago, President Trump tweeted, "Trade wars are good, and easy to win."

Earlier this week, Stateside spoke to Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners Chair Andy LaBarre about their counties’ consideration of a transit plan that would include links between Ann Arbor and downtown Detroit.

Macomb and Oakland county leaders appeared to distance themselves from supporting a ballot proposal for a four county regional transit system.

The Next Idea

 

In late November of 2014, Michigan Radio’s Stateside began a series called The Next Idea. With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and a team that included the University of Michigan’s “Dean of Innovation” Jeff DeGraff and Executive Producer Joe Linstroth, the project’s mission was to focus on innovation, creativity and ideas meant to move Michigan forward.

 

In essays and interviews, we met Michigan inventors and entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, scientists, farmers, business people, experts, and just regular citizens who decided to think outside the box to make their state and their communities better.

There is a child care shortage. That’s not going to be a surprise to many families, especially those in rural areas.

In a recent Dome Magazine article, Ken Winter outlined the problem in northern Michigan. It’s bad enough that the chambers of commerce in the region are making it a priority issue.

President Trump's first State of the Union speech touched on Detroit’s auto industry. The president said that he “halted government mandates,” and his actions would “get the Motor City revving its engines once again.”

Daniel Howes, business columnist for The Detroit News, joined Stateside to talk about the truth of these claims and the landscape of the U.S. auto industry.  

When Detroit joined the national scrum to win the second Amazon headquarters, a big deficiency became glaringly obvious.

Amazon wants access to public transit for that $5 billion second headquarters with its 50,000 jobs.

And southeast Michigan gets a big zero for public transportation.

The Next Idea

It’s fair to say that mothers need all the help they can get. Family and friends can step in, of course, but what about things like getting lactation advice, finding support groups, programs for kids, and most of all, finding other like-minded mothers?

Some metro areas seem to have lots of resources, but two Detroit residents connected over what they felt was a real lack of community in their city.

TheraCann

Kingsley is the latest Michigan town to give the green light to medical marijuana businesses. A vote by the village council this week clears the way for TheraCann, a Canadian company that wants to build a $20 million marijuana facility in the Kingsley Industry Park.

The building would be right next to Marc McKellar's house.

“Frankly, I’ve never been a proponent of marijuana … whatsoever," says McKellar. "I never contemplated it, really. Never thought about it.”

If you live in a city or town that dates back to before World War Two, you've got a "Main Street," you've got parks, and you can walk around town to restaurants and stores.

Cities that sprouted up after the war? Not so much.

Those are largely made up of shopping strips, office buildings, plenty of subdivisions — and you definitely need a car. There's no "downtown" that's the center of the community.

Amazon is in the process of building two distribution centers in Michigan. The online retail magnate has received millions in state money as an incentive to build, and hire, in the Great Lakes state. Yet, researchers at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance suggest Amazon’s impact on the overall economy destroys more jobs than it ever creates.

Despite the fact that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly surpassed Bill Gates as the richest person in the world, Amazon has successfully landed over a billion dollars in subsidies from local governments, according to Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR).

There’s good news to talk about in the re-invention of Detroit and the push to wean Michigan’s economy away from big manufacturing.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes thinks Michigan is “open for business, again.”

Agencies across the country are waiting and wondering if their programs will be on the federal government's chopping block this year. They're hoping a groundswell of public support will help convince Congress to spare their funding.

One of the threatened programs is the USDA's Rural Development Office. It provides grants to businesses that are supporting rural communities and residents.  

According to Director of the Alliance for Economic Success Tim Ervin, small grants can make a big difference. Projects the Rural Development Office funds range from revitalizing movie theaters to launching regional recycling programs to creating a senior center.

The Next Idea

Michigan and other states are having an increasingly hard time finding qualified people to work in construction. The perception that construction careers are dirty, hard, and dangerous plays a big part in the labor shortage.

Brindley Byrd, executive director of the Michigan Construction Foundation, wants to help people find careers in construction by marketing the Michigan Construction "brand" and connecting people to resources like educational training programs.

Michigan spent the 20th century making itself the center of the auto industry.But it's crystal clear Silicon Valley wants that crown for the 21st century.

That warning is being sounded at the Mackinac Policy Conference this week.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says economic and business leaders on Mackinac Island this week realize that competition from Silicon Valley isn't going anywhere, and will force business leaders in Michigan to move quicker when it comes to participating in the evolving mobility industry and innovation.

The Next Idea

For centuries, people who need some fast cash have turned to pawn shops: "pawning" some personal treasure for a cash loan.

Today there is a modern way to pawn an item. Instead of driving from shop to shop, you can turn to a Michigan-based startup called PawnGuru and do your dealing online.

When we think of Michigan’s contribution to the war effort during the Second World War, most think of the Arsenal of Democracy, of Rosie the Riveters helping build thousands and thousands of B-24 Liberator bombers at Willow Run.

But the U.S. war effort also depended mightily on the Soo Locks, to the point where it feared a Nazi attack on the locks.

The Next Idea

So, you've got a small business. You've been selling your product at farmer's markets or art fairs, or maybe online.

But it's a great big step from that to having your own brick-and-mortar store. One way to help bridge that gap is happening in Midtown Detroit: the Cass Collective.

It's a new collaborative retail space where businesses rotate in and out so a budding entrepreneur can put a cautious toe in the water without a big commitment. The Cass Collective is a joint project of Midtown Detroit Inc. and TechTown Detroit.

Michigan is not the only place where car manufacturers have left to find cheaper labor and materials elsewhere. By the end of this year, not a single new car will be made in Australia.

He has headed up the world's biggest office furniture company and hired Jim Harbaugh as head football coach at the University of Michigan.

Now, Jim Hackett is replacing outgoing CEO Mark Fields as the new head of Ford Motor Company.

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