Snyder calls for a new attitude response is already evident

April 18, 2011
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The take-away from Gov. Rick Snyder’s speech to the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce members last week was not the too-familiar “us versus bureaucrats/Democrats/unions,” or his update of his varied and far-reaching budget initiatives, though both deserve ongoing commentary.

In fact, his point in regard to both issues was that there is no separation, there are no differences: “We are all in this together,” he said reiterating his common observation, but driving home the meaning.

“We’ve got too much of a win-lose attitude. When one loses, we all lose,” he said, imploring his audience to give up east versus west Michigan attitudes, and any other line that creates divisiveness based on political extremes (“in a Democracy”), racial or gender differences.

He further implored his audience to start talking about their successes, and offered a new slogan: Relentless Positive Attitude.

Another apparent shocker: “Manufacturing is absolutely a part of our future,” he said, adding that high-tech tool-and-die businesses are a part of the state’s economic diversity.

He will surely be called a Pollyanna, but the Business Journal calls him a candidate for president of the United States.

First, no entrepreneur ever built a business on anything other than a Relentless Positive Attitude. It’s an attitude that should be shared with those who don’t own but manage financial institutions. Second, noting the overwhelming depression related to living in the most-bashed state in the union is acknowledged and given opportunity for remedy based on what is currently happening.

The chief worry among business owners now is the ability to recruit talented workers to Michigan (Gentex is among them). In this imperative pursuit, Snyder’s remarks are reiterated that talent is packaged in a rainbow of colors, two genders and immigrants to this country. The Van Andel Institute is the best regional example.

Last week, the Center for Automotive Research economists forecast that Michigan’s Big Three automakers could boost the number of jobs and re-hires by 34 percent in the next four years. Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business Supply Chain Management Research reported “excellent improvement in auto sales has resulted in strong business conditions for local auto parts suppliers.” Director Brian Long also noted “convincing signs that the capital equipment business is on the road to recovery.” 

The April 11 issue of Grand Rapids Business Journal further reported a growing economy, though it is still unevenly distributed. Michigan exports also are reported to have surged in the first quarter of this year. And while fallout from the Japanese disasters continue to be monitored for U.S. impacts, it is possible Michigan automakers will benefit, along with their West Michigan suppliers.

There are more than enough economic indicators of budding successes to get over the Great Recession and get on with the Great Recovery — ever with that famous “cautious optimism.”

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