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Gingrich calls for Mich. 'courageous conversation'

By AP

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI –

Ex-U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Michigan has to fundamentally change its approaches to education, job training and government to rebuild its struggling economy.

The man responsible for the 1994 "Contract with America" spoke Wednesday at the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference. He says the changes will require "a courageous conversation."

He says if a company wants to build a factory in Michigan, the state needs to retrain workers quickly so they're ready when the factory opens.

Gingrich says Michigan can't say it's reforming education, "and in 26 years we'll have someone who can do" those jobs.

He also called for making Detroit a tax-free zone for the next decade to encourage job growth.

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