Print Friendly and PDF

Amy Liu and Diverse Policy Leaders: Michigan’s Future Economy Depends on Fostering Inclusive Growth Today

While the state’s economy has expanded substantially since emerging from the Great Recession, in an age of immense technological disruption, this growth has not translated into larger economic participation and prosperity. Wages remain depressed and many in the workforce have found themselves excluded from these gains.

This fact presents a long-term liability and threat to Michigan as the state looks to sustain economic growth into the future.

Taking Michigan’s Center Stage, Amy Liu, vice President and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution, shared the strategies and best practices other regions like Chicago and Indianapolis have adopted to better create more inclusive, sustainable economic outcomes.

Following her address, Liu was joined by a panel including Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Hudson-Webber Foundation President and CEO Melanca Clark and Mackinac Center for Public Policy President Joseph Lehman for a more in-depth discussion of how specifically Michigan can close the opportunity gap. The panel was moderated by Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley

Key Takeaways:

  • Why focus on inclusive growth? Without a larger emphasis on removing the structural barriers to economic participation, Michigan’s resurgence will be shallow and short-lived.
  • Economic development metrics must be redefined to better measure the quality of economic growth, the increase of citizens’ access to economic prospects, and a rising standard of living for all.
  • It isn’t just government or economic development agencies that are responsible for promoting and implementing inclusive growth strategies. It must be a broad coalition of employers and community stakeholders.
  • Inclusive growth also encompasses how older, industrial communities stay competitive in an era of rapidly advancing technology. Too often, Michigan has been a victim of these market forces and must better adapt to avoid losing a greater share of tech-driven growth.
  • It isn’t enough for employers to just be open, they must be actively engaged and intentional about inclusive business practices.

The keynote address and panel session tie into the Conference panel of increasing economic opportunity.