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Michigan runs on brainpower, says new ad

MEDC/Pure Michigan

Michigan economic development officials hope to change the sometimes negative perception of the state's auto industry using the power of the Pure Michigan ad campaign.

The state has launched the first in a series of new ads called "Michigan Runs on Brainpower."

Over an inspiring soundtrack, the first ad shows a montage of people using cutting-edge technologies like computer-aided design, motion capture, and robotics to design and manufacture cars.

The ad ends with the caption, "When it comes to automotive thinking, only one state has more brainpower than any other." 

Governor Snyder introduced the ad campaign at the annual Center for Automotive Research MBS meeting in Traverse City.

"Michigan today rivals Silicon Valley as a global innovation center," Snyder says. "And we need to encourage our students to pursue exciting, well-paying careers in the tech-driven auto industry."

A 2014 MICHAuto study said perceptions about the automotive industry must change to attract the best and brightest in the industry. The study found that only 41% of people who influence youngsters' career decisions were very likely to recommend a job in the industry.

"Just last month we saw MCity, the first autonomous vehicle test facility of its kind, open in Ann Arbor," says Kevin Kerrigan, senior vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Automotive Office. "That's only the beginning of what is being developed in our state. We need the talent that's out there to realize that Michigan is a place where you can seriously grow your career, and that it's a pretty great place to live, too."

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.