Granholm's Job General Resigns

January 5, 2006
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LANSING — Labor and Economic Growth Director David Hollister, who has led the state’s job growth efforts for three years, will step down on Feb. 3 to lead a new Lansing-area economic develop group.

Hollister was Lansing’s mayor for 10 years before Gov. Jennnifer Granholm tapped him to head the 4,000-employee state Department of Labor and Economic Development. Current Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon and Lansing Community College President Paula Cunningham together convinced Hollister to head Prima Civitas Inc., a new economic develop group similar in design to Grand Rapids’ The Right Place Inc.

In a statement from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Hollister said he hoped to “leverage the area’s assets in higher education and K-12, auto and other manufacturing, agriculture, and emerging life science and information technology sectors to build a new economy.”

In a Wednesday afternoon press conference, flanked by Granholm and Simon, Hollister lamented that there had been no job creation during his tenure.

I wish we had a better national and international economy,” he said, as reported by The Detroit Free Press. He added that the U.S. auto industry has been “taking a beating” from global competition, which has been sorely felt here.

“I don’t leave with my head down at all. I think we accomplished a lot.”

Hollister, 63, has Parkinson’s disease. Although he said his health “is reasonably good,” he admitted that the disease was a contributing factor in leaving Granholm’s office at the beginning of what could be a grueling re-election campaign.    

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