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Governor says slow march to diversifying will continue in '10

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


In her last radio address of 2009, Governor Granholm says efforts this year to diversify the state's economy into alternative energy, life sciences, and films helped reduce Michigan's reliance on the auto industry for jobs.

Governor Granholm says 2009 was a tough year as Michigan struggled with automotive bankruptcies and near-record unemployment. Michigan's jobless rate was consistently the highest in the nation in 2009.

"In response, our strategy continues to be to diversify Michigan's economy, educate and train our citizens for 21st Century jobs, and protect people during this transition from the old economy to the new," she says.

But 10-25% of the state's economy remains directly tied to the automotive industry, and other sectors don't have the same multiplier effect as jobs in heavy manufacturing.

The governor says education remains a key part of her turnaround plan. She faces fights with legislative Republicans on raising revenue to restore cuts to schools and college scholarships.

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