Wednesday, October 19, 2011

While Snyder and MEDC Make Excuses, Indiana Adds Over 1000 Jobs in October Alone

He's a businessman. He's going to create jobs.

And it should be obvious by now to anyone that's even remotely paying attention that he is driving our economic development efforts right into the ditch.

While MEDC Chairman Doug Rothwell makes excuses...

"The bad news is the national economy is really putting a cloud over the state," Rothwell said. "That could really be a drag on what should be a very good Michigan recovery all things being equal."

... Indiana isn't having a problem expanding and/or recruiting new jobs. They've added over 1000 so far this month, and we're only halfway through (they tend to space out the announcements). I didn't have the heart to look back to September.

  • Sunright America Inc - 100 jobs
  • Lippert Components Manufacturing Inc and Kinro Manufacturing Inc - 330 jobs
  • Crown Equipment Corporation - 150 jobs
  • Kronos Incorporated - 250 jobs
  • LEP Special Fasteners Inc - 160 jobs
  • Böttcher America Corporation - 35 jobs
  • Wieland Designs Inc - 120 jobs

  • If you think I'm happy about turning the tables and using Mitch Daniels to point out a problem here, I'm not.

    State tax incentives may be just a game, but as of right now it is the game. And it's as if the rest of the country is still playing chess, while the Snyder administration has arrogantly decided it will play checkers instead - just like Engler did long ago - and now they want turn around and complain that it's the national economy that is causing us to lose a game that they are refusing to play.

    The jobs above? Incentives. The jobs announced at Priceline here in Grand Rapids yesterday? Incentives. And that is simply an expansion of a successful recruit from 2008. Priceline's Cindy Elenbaas flat-out said on camera that 500 jobs being created would have left the state without them. (although that clip didn't make it to the web, WOOD reporter Anne Schieber mentions they had other offers on the one that did)

    No, not happy at all. Rather sick to my stomach watching this slow-motion train-wreck happening, and knowing it's happening while no analysis of Snyder's economic non-plan is being offered by what's left of our state media. I'm very dismayed that we are making the exact same mistake that John Engler made in the early 90s, the mistake that was predicted well over a year ago by Rick Haglund and others, the mistake that business development officials themselves warned us about. It's happening, and the word "diversify" has dropped right off the radar.

    It seems that efforts to reduce our reliance on the auto industry have stopped. Rothwell admits in the interview that MEDC is moving away from business attraction, and, although he did indicate that MEDC will seek more money to be "competitive" with other states, he says it won't be that much more than what it is now.

    And the next time the auto industry suffers a recession, as they have in nearly every decade of their existence, we will once again look around and go, "why oh why didn't we continue to diversify our economy?" Because someone had this nebulous idea about "gardening" instead, and refused to be aggressive when it came to an economic plan and direction other than "cut taxes".

    Only question left is: How many years will it take the media this time to point out where we went off the tracks?