Governor Rick Snyder announced an executive order creating a Department of Talent and Economic Development and also the new Michigan Talent Investment Agency. The executive order also restructures several state departments.
The aim of the reorganization is to put Michigan’s job creation and economic development efforts under one new department in order to leverage the state’s ability to build talent with in-demand skills while helping businesses in Michigan grow and thrive.
The executive order authorizes the director of the Department of Talent and Economic Development to be the new CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, subject to the MEDC executive committee making this determination.
The new director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development will be Steve Arwood, who is currently MEDC executive vice president and chief operating officer. Arwood will be a member of the Governor’s cabinet.
Current MEDC CEO Michael A. Finney will move into a new role as senior adviser for economic growth, as a member of Gov. Snyder’s executive staff.
The executive order moves the Michigan Strategic Fund and associated programs into the new department, along with the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority.
The MSF Board of Directors is abolished, and the new board will consist of the MEDC CEO or their designee, the Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs or designee, the State Treasurer or designee, and eight residents of the state appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Michigan Senate.
The state Workforce Development Agency and the Unemployment Insurance Agency will be moved into the Michigan Talent Investment Agency. This new agency will coordinate all workforce training programs across the executive branch of the state government, including skilled trades training, employment assistance, and STEM training programs.
Stephanie Comai, who is currently the deputy director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, will be the director of the Talent Investment Agency and a member of the Governor’s cabinet.
In a release announcing the executive order, Gov. Snyder said that “One of my top priorities has been to make Michigan a national leader in talent development by focusing on workforce training for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
The Governor added that this effort will require a comprehensive, unified approach to best help Michiganders while working to retain and attract businesses to create more and better jobs.
See the full executive order – No. 2014-12 (pdf)