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Whitmer to create 'chief growth officer' position in Michigan Economic Development Corporation

 Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers remarks to Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference.
Rick Pluta
Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers remarks to Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference Wednesday.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will create a “chief growth officer” position in her administration.

She’s expected to make the announcement Thursday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual policy conference on Mackinac Island, where she will also announce a Growing Michigan Together Council.

The last U.S. Census showed Michigan had the second slowest population growth of all the states, which cost the state a congressional seat. Since then, census estimates also suggest Michigan suffered a net loss of people in 2021 and 2022.

Whitmer has pushed higher education and job training programs as ways to help convince young people to remain in Michigan and take positions employers are clamoring to fill.

“We are going everywhere, and we are competing with everyone to bring supply chains home, to create good-paying jobs in communities all across the state of Michigan,” Whitmer said in her welcoming remarks Wednesday. “We are focused on the future and it’s not just one part of the state or the other.”

Whitmer said policies adopted by the Legislature’s Democratic majorities to expand Michigan’s civil rights law to include LGBTQ protections and to repeal Michigan’s statutory abortion ban were helpful steps.

“Together, we can make Michigan a beacon of opportunity and freedom,” she said. “We can show the nation and the world that no matter who you are, you can envision a path to prosperity in the state of Michigan.”

An administration source confirmed the “chief growth officer” will be housed in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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