New Michigan Future Schools report 2

Michigan Future Schools–-our Detroit high school initiative––has just released a report on improving college completion. Written by Patrick Cooney, our College Success Manager. Entitled “Increasing  College  Graduation  Rates  for Low-­‐Income,  Minority,  and  First-­‐Gen  Students: Lessons  Learned  from  4  Colleges  That  Are  Doing  the  Work.” You can download a copy of the report here. College completion […]


A Michigan economy not working for many

Despite all the headlines and headline statistics that say that the Michigan economy is “back” the reality is that many Michiganders are worse off today than they were prior to the onset of the Great Recession. The table at the end of this post displays real median wages for all Michigan full time, year round […]

Employers solving labor shortages

Governor Snyder has made solving the so-called skilled trades shortages one of, if not, the top state economic growth priorities. He wants the education and training system to emphasize far more than today preparing students and adult job seekers for those jobs. A far more effective lever to solve labor shortages in any occupation or […]

New realities video

The core belief of Michigan Future is that because of globalization and technology, what made us prosperous in the past, won’t in the future. And that Michigan has gone from one of the most prosperous places on the planet for most of the 20th Century to one of the country’s poorest states today because we […]

Michigan targeting declining sectors

MiBiz asked Governor Snyder in a year end interview “Looking ahead to the next legislative session, what’s on your agenda to further improve the state’s business climate?” The Governor’s response: “Number one would be career tech education for the skilled trades. If you look at it, people know about (becoming a) welder, plumber and electrician. […]

Higher wages cure labor shortages continued

What to do about labor shortages (real or perceived) in the skilled trades/mid-skill jobs is a top economic priority for Governor Snyder. As we explored in our last post he is pushing for a reemphasis on vocation programming in high schools. And now has created a super agency––the Department of Talent and Economic Development. It […]

Higher wages cure labor shortages 1

Corporate and political leadership continue to complain about the inability to find workers in the skilled trades/mid-skill jobs. Their solution is to go back to tracking kids––almost certainly others, not theirs––into vocational programs. One problem: if there are labor shortages, and many doubt there is, the prime cause is not an education system that over […]

Good business climate, not so good economy continued

As we explored in my last post, Michigan is now a top tier state in ratings of business climate, but a lower tier state in what matters to Michiganders: jobs and income. For at least two decades we have been told by most policy makers and businesses that reducing the cost of doing business in […]

Good business climate, not so good economy

The well-respected Tax Foundation recently released their 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index report. Michigan is rated the 13th best business climate in the country. The same ranking Michigan had in 2013 and 2014. In 2012 the state ranked 27th. So on the measure we are told repeatedly by Lansing policy makers and the business […]

Needed: new state education policy

As we explored previously Michigan has lousy k-12 student outcomes and is making little progress if at all. A recipe for long term economic decline. The state which has the best student outcomes is Massachusetts. Massachusetts k-12 policy was put in place in the early 1990s on a bi-partisan basis and has been continued without much […]