Gov. Snyder: Michigan is mobility’s future

Rick Snyder

Michigan is globally recognized as the hub for automotive innovation, technology, and research. We put the world on wheels and were the first to transform transportation in a way that impacts how we live, work and travel. The future of transportation is rapidly evolving, and here in Michigan, we are at the forefront of change. The American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti will serve as a state-of-the-art global epicenter for testing and development of automated vehicles, and in 2016 I signed landmark legislation allowing the operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan roadways.

The Planet M campaign plays an important role in promoting Michigan as an international hub for mobility innovation and highlights our state’s rich manufacturing and entrepreneurial heritage. We’re showing the world that Michigan has a strong foundation ready to build up the next generation of advancements in transportation. We’ve made great progress so far, and we’re not taking our foot off the gas anytime soon.

This past week I had the opportunity to attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to tout Michigan as the world leader in mobility and the best place where business, research and entrepreneurship can thrive. Michigan is a model state for future mobility investment and strategic partnerships, and our collaborative efforts and groundbreaking legislation are driving the next generation of advancements in autonomous and connected vehicle technology.

This week, the North American International Auto Show kicks off in Detroit. Audiences from around the world will see what’s in store for the future of the automotive — or perhaps we should say “automobility” — industry. I’m proud that Detroit will show the world that the future of advancements in automotive technology and mobility is here and now in Michigan.

One of the big challenges we face in our state is having a strong, sustainable pipeline of talent for the highly skilled jobs of today and tomorrow. As we continue promoting Michigan as the global destination for automotive business investments and partnerships, it’s critical that we have skilled, talented workers trained and ready for the good careers these companies will create.

I’m excited that this year the auto show will include the Future Automotive Career Exposition in its AutoMobili-D exhibit. This expo will give guests a glimpse of the vast career options and opportunities available in the automotive and mobility sectors. Attendees will have the chance to connect with experts and learn about the skills needed as the automotive and mobility fields continue to converge.

Michigan’s economic comeback is undeniable. That last time our unemployment rate was at its current rate was in the year 2000. We’ve created more than 530,000 private-sector jobs statewide since 2010. So, the problems of Michigan’s Lost Decade are no longer the challenges of our future. The automotive industry — which represents an important part of Michigan’s past, present and future — can propel Michigan on to even greater economic prosperity.

The resurgence of the city of Detroit is something all Michiganians should be proud of. The Motor City holds so much of Michigan’s rich automotive history, and I believe it’s once again poised at the forefront of innovation in transportation.

Our state’s future has never been brighter, and we’re working hard to maximize Michigan’s momentum to ensure ongoing success and prosperity. I’m proud Detroit continues to carry on Michigan’s automotive legacy, and I’m confident that we will continue to be a global leader in the next generation of mobility and autonomous vehicle technology.

Rick Snyder is governor of Michigan.