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Economic Development Leaders for Michigan, LEAP Call for Passage of Employment Opportunity Act

Bill includes tiers to help attract transformational projects to smaller counties

LANSING, Mich. (Aug. 25, 2021) –Today, the Economic Development Leaders for Michigan (EDLM) and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) called for quick passage of the Michigan Employment Opportunity Act. The legislation would restore economic incentives from Good Jobs for Michigan, a key tool in attracting transformational projects to the state, but with additional tiers allowing the incentives to apply to smaller rural counties.

“Michigan has been at a competitive disadvantage with other states since this legislation expired,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership and chair of EDLM. “Good Jobs for Michigan was a proven tool. This new legislation can help attract transformational projects and good-paying jobs to communities of all sizes in Michigan. As we all work to accelerate economic growth amid the pandemic, it’s important the Legislature pass this bill quickly.”

Under Michigan’s Senate Bill 615, as introduced by Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), companies can receive performance-based incentives for creating jobs that meet or exceed the average wage in the regions they are located. Companies benefitting from the Michigan Employment Opportunity Act only receive the incentive when they are paying the wages of the jobs they committed to creating. The incentives are funded through a personal income tax capture at no up-front cost to the state.

“While LEAP continues our critical work with small business startups, underserved entrepreneurs and placemaking initiatives, at our core is successfully attracting new companies and good-paying jobs from around the world to the Lansing region,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “A lack of effective state tools has hampered our region’s ability to compete with other states and countries. This bill and the tool will greatly increase the likelihood we can land big companies with big jobs, wages and tax revenue at no upfront cost to taxpayers.”

As introduced, the legislation has tiered job-creation criteria for counties of different sizes:

  • Populations of 250,000 and above (must create 250 to 3,000 jobs)
  • Populations of 90,001 to 249,999 (100 to 500 jobs)
  • Populations of 90,000 or below (50 to 250 jobs)

“This bill deserves bipartisan support. LEAP also continues to make progress with a possible economic bill called the Downtown Conversion Boost incentive to help convert and re-fill downtown office buildings into residential buildings.” Trezise added.

The original Good Jobs for Michigan legislation expired in 2019. In just two years, the program was responsible for a commitment of more than 11,300 good-paying jobs and generating more than $6.6 billion in private sector investment through six large-scale projects across the state, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

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About LEAP
The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all — working every day to grow, retain and attract business to the Lansing, Michigan, region.

About Economic Development Leaders for Michigan

Economic Development Leaders for Michigan (EDLM) is a coalition of 12 leading regional economic development organizations throughout the state. Established in June 2020, EDLM’s goal is to accelerate Michigan’s economy by securing the necessary tools to stimulate growth.

EDLM’s member organizations drive Michigan’s economic engine and create quality jobs through business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. LEAP is a proud founder of EDLM. Visit https://www.edlm.org/ to learn more.