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Gov. Snyder: Let’s Change the Conversation on Civility and Connectivity to Support Economic Opportunity for All

Closing out main stage programming on Thursday, Gov. Rick Snyder echoed much of the dialogue that took place throughout the 2017 Conference. Snyder tied this year’s pillars together explaining that political civility, winning the race in connected technology, and increasing economic opportunity are intertwined and critical to continuing the state’s economic revitalization.

“We have done a lot, but there is still more work to do,” Snyder said. “It takes all of us participating in the solution. The pieces are there (for Michigan’s bright future) but now we must change the conversation and put those puzzle pieces together.”

Following his remarks, the Governor was joined on stage by Rick Albin, political reporter for WOOD TV, for a question and answer session on Michigan’s next steps.

Key takeaways:

  • The greatest risk to Michigan and the United States is a lack of political civility.
  • Today’s technology and 24-hour partisan news programs amplify bias and encourage political ideologues to seek out voices they agree with.
  • Michiganders must have the courage and conviction to acknowledge others may be right.
  • Americans are unhappy because of a perceived lack of hope for a better life and opportunity for future generations.
  • Michigan has taken steps to solve this perception through job placement programs for veterans and returning citizens, as well as state programs for economically disadvantaged citizens.
  • We should change how we define postsecondary success and better inform parents and students on what it takes to earn a postsecondary degree or credential and the skills needed to fill the state’s 100,000 trades jobs.
  • We should engage the private sector to bring more professionals into schools to educate students about good, high-paying jobs.
  • Michigan is a leader in programs like FIRST Robotics and Square One and must continue to fund and support competency-based education programs.
  • Increased broadband access will allow more people to find employment in areas outside of large cities.
  • Connected and autonomous vehicles can provide individuals with disabilities, economically disadvantaged communities and seniors new opportunities and Michigan is leading the way in developing this technology.
  • Michiganders must be willing to ask new, smart questions to move the state forward.

The session was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.