Detroit’s bankruptcy will make it tricky to brand Michigan as the comeback state.
True to his “relentless-positive-action” style, Governor Rick Snyder didn’t let a weekend of bad news about Detroit’s dismal finances get him down.
On Wednesday morning, as a hearing on the bankruptcy was beginning in federal court in Detroit, Snyder attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for an auto supplier that’s expanding in Muskegon. He urged factory workers to spread the good news about Michigan to everyone they meet.
“I’m not talking just ‘Pure Michigan” tourism messages, Snyder told the crowd. He asked they spread the news about Michigan’s educated workforce and its culture “of making the world’s best products.”
He admitted to reporters the bankruptcy has sidelined conversations about the state’s economy.
"It makes it more challenging but I think that’s part of the reason to get out and communicate more,” Snyder said.
Snyder sees Detroit’s bankruptcy as an opportunity for a fresh start.
“Detroit was going to continue to go downhill. This is our opportunity to stabilize city services, improve city services, deal with the debt question,” Snyder said.
Outside of the city’s finances, he says Detroit’s economy is poised for growth. “You’re going to see Detroit come back,” he said.
Snyder toured ADAC Automotive’s expanded plant. ADAC’s Vice President Peter Hungerford says the expansion houses a new paint line for exterior car door handles.
“This helps expand the capacity and really develop some more state of the art technology in order to provide body colored painted products to our customers,” Hungerford said.
During the recession demand for car door handles plummeted to half what it was before the recession.
Company officials at the ceremony said federal policies like "cash for clunkers" and the loans to Chrysler and General Motors helped save the supplier.
ADAC has hired more than 130 people to work on the new line. The company employs nearly 1,200.