You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, May 29, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

6 highlights from Snyder's speech on Mackinac Island and why he isn't satisfied

By Ryan J. Stanton


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder takes the stage inside the Grand Hotel at the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Tuesday.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Related story on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder: Budget 'balancing act' left room for tax relief, more education funding

MACKINAC ISLAND — Gov. Rick Snyder used his opening remarks at the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual Mackinac Policy Conference to say he isn't satisfied.

"Now is not the time to be satisfied," he said. "I'm not satisfied at all with where we're at. We have to avoid complacency. We have to avoid being content. We should actually be accelerating and that's why I'm excited about this conference."

Here are six other key highlights from Snyder's opening remarks as the three-day conference kicked off Tuesday inside the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Addressing a crowd of several hundred business leaders, politicians, nonprofit executives and educators, the former Ann Arbor venture capitalist said he liked the main themes of this year's conference: Innovation, collaboration and competing in a 21st century global marketplace.

1. Veteran unemployment. Snyder decried the fact that Michigan has the second highest unemployment rate of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at 29 percent. The state also ranks last in the country for utilization of benefits available to them. "That's simply unacceptable and the people that can do a lot to solve that problem are us," Snyder said.

2. 80,000 job openings. Snyder highlighted the state's Pure Michigan talent portal at, which connects people with jobs in Michigan. "There are over 80,000 open jobs on If we filled those 80,000 jobs, we would drop our unemployment rate by over 2 percentage points. That's cool. That's huge."

3. Public-private collaboration. "That's a huge issue that we just need to do better on," Snyder said. "Too often we've gotten in silos. We have a silo of the public sector, a silo of the not-for-profit sector, a silo of the private sector. And if you think about it, too often we'll look to one sector saying, 'Solve this problem.'" Snyder said all three sectors must come together.

4. Global marketplace. "Everything we're doing, we should be asking how we export it. Every single item," Snyder said. "We're a state that makes things, whether we grow it, build it, manufacture it. We should be selling to the globe. And then we should be saying, 'We're the place to build it. If you're someplace else in the world, come here.' "

5. Bragging rights. Despite his lack of satisfaction, Snyder touted the state's successes. "We actually are having great success here, but we have a problem: Michiganders are too humble. We don't brag well," he said. "We have to speak up more. We are the comeback state in the United States right now." Snyder urged the crowd to "go tell everybody else in the country we're the comeback state," but not to be arrogant. "It's time for us not to brag, not to be arrogant, but to point out the facts that we're back and we're going to keep coming back."

6. On the conference itself. "Do not make this a nice event. Make this an event that makes a difference. We control the fate of Michigan. All Michiganders do together."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Perhaps we should have laws in Michigan that prevent businesses from hiring many foreign workers such as those at the Grand Hotel. That would create many jobs for Michigan citizens, even if summer temp jobs such as those at the Grand Hotel. Except that law would cover more sectors of the business community, not just hotels and then no business owner would support the Govenor then.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

It's ironic that the Govenor is asking businesses in the state to employ more Michigan vets, and therefore, more Michigan citizens, while he is speaking at a conference held at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac-the hotel that employs a couple hundred or so people for the summer and gets their staff from many Carribean nations and not from Michigan or even the U.S.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

Recreation and Tourism is one of Michigan's finest qualities -- we should build on that industry. Fishing, boating, camping, the state of one of the most beautiful states. And, there is no where else in the states like the Great Lakes. Build the tourism industry -- get out-of-staters excited about visiting us. They'll love it.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

Public-private cooperation . . . Translation: More tax cuts & tax breaks for business at the expense of everyone, & everything, else. This governor continues to not comprehend that effective, quality state government involves more than big giveaways to business & big takeaways from the rest of us - & there's a LOT of the rest of us . . .

Hesh Breakstone

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 10:50 a.m.

Sure, Snyder is still not satisfied because there are still middle class Michiganders, poor, and retired folks, not to mention current and former union members, teachers, cops, firefighters that he has not betrayed in his ongoing efforts to balance the budget after giving corporate America a $1.7 billion dollar tax cut on the backs of everyone else.... Yep there is still a grandma or poor family or unemployed person out there Snyder has not robbed.... yet... to give his corporate buds even more tax breaks. The ONLY reason why Michigan created over 70,000 jobs last year was Obama's saving of the US auto industry but our boy Snyder is sure to take credit for this too.... Snyder is the very worst governor in Michigan history... and when remembering Engler that's saying a bunch. I still love the "dashboard" that he has on-line at our expense of course where HE decided the criteria that he wishes to be judged against.... Maybe he should appoint an EFM to tell us all how to judge him next election? If not some of us may very well vote for anyone else to sand this inhuman corporate sell-out packing.... That's my plan!


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

You're both kind of right...Bush (Paulson, actually) was behind TARP, which was meant to help the financial market and eventually those funds were funneled to assist the auto industry. Weeks before Bush left office, he gave GM and Chrysler $17.4 billion. Bush was credited, not so much by the left, to have given the auto industry breathing room to, basically, figure out how to keep things going. When Obama took office, he injected another $60 billion, which ultimately gave the auto companies the cushion they needed to execute their strategies to keep from failing. I'm not a Bush supporter, but his push to assist the auto industries is what jump started their recovery. However, in typical Bush fashion, the rest of the money that was pushed out under Bush to the financial institutions was made to be under the direct control of Paulson, where he was given complete authority of what was done with the money. We all saw how that worked out. Snyder is wrong for Michigan. He's not really for the people, but he's a Republican politician, so that's to be expected. To be fair, Democratic politicians are for the people, but love to put a stranglehold on business, which isn't always the best thing either. The problem with politics in this country is there is no balance, which leads to no compromise. The two party system creates divisiveness and sparks debate full of rhetoric and nonsensical arguments. We, as a people, need to understand ALL the facts and come to the table with a clear view of what has happened in the past so we can come up with a compromise for a better future. Otherwise, we just end up arguing over who's right about this or that...


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

Hey Hesh, Re-writing history I see. In December of 2008 it was President Bush who pushed to have the auto industry bailed out. On December 19, 2008, President Bush gave $17.4 billion to Chrysler and GM.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.

What bragging rights when about 400,000 Michigan citizens remain unemployed. Rick Snyder wants the public and private sectors to work better together? Then the Governor needs to provide funds to Universities, community colleges and vocational schools that will retrain the unemployed so they have the knowledge and tools to meet the qualifications of those 80,000 job vacancies. He needs to have private corporations sponsor training programs and share the costs of educating job prospects.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

Gee Veracity, 400,000 is a heck of alot less than when Granholm had the reigns. As the article states, Snyder isn't happy and there is a lot more that needs to be done, but it shows that Michigan is on the right track. Good thing that President Bush started the auto bailout in 2008, eh?


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:13 a.m.

"Too often we've gotten in silos. We have a silo of the public sector, a silo of the not-for-profit sector, a silo of the private sector". What we really have from Emperor Snyder and his rethuglican friends is a barnyard of manure.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

vote yes if your lot in life has or is getting better.

Basic Bob

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.

Yes. Finally digging out from 2009 and willing to take on a car payment again. An American car.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : midnight

Fix your typo! It's pretty bad...

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

Thanks for the catch. It's fixed.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 12:08 a.m.

An article that violated's conversation guidelines has not yet been edited.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

#3 is hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

It was funnier with the typo, but I guess accuracy counts.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, May 29, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

Gee when I saw the headline I thought Nate Bomey had returned. And that's not a compliment.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

Man oh man. The headline of this article is too temtping to pass up: "..and why he's not satisfied". (1) Hes not convinced that you cant get blood from a stone" (2) He's sure there still some people in Michigan that he hasnt taken from yet. I find the comment of public and private working together to be a joke. Why would the public sector want to work with private sector when he ahd his Reubli-stooges (aka Job Creators) have spend 1.5 yrs blaming the ills of this State on the public sector? Theres 88,000 jobs avaialble? Why havent all these unemployed private sector individuals gobbled up the jobs. Maybe the private sector people really dont have the skills they like to think they have.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, May 29, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

Drew: I though it meant he wasn't satisfied with his speech.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

I like this better than "in Five years you will be Blown away"


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

I don't like Rick Snyder.....

Stephen Landes

Tue, May 29, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

So you would rather curse the darkness than take what light you can get? Seems pretty shortsighted to me.