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State launches talent attraction ad campaign

Ad from the "You Can Work in Michigan" campaign
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Ad from the "You Can Work in Michigan" campaign

There’s a new Michigan marketing campaign aimed at bringing more workers into the state and reversing decades of sluggish growth.

The "You Can in Michigan" campaign features a combination of TV, radio, print and digital ads highlighting the state’s different work and recreation opportunities.

It’s the latest addition to a handful of multistate marketing campaigns, that include Pure Michigan and Pure Opportunity.

Michelle Grinnell is senior vice president of marketing communications with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. She said each of those promotions complement one another.

“The story we are really trying to tell is the story of Michigan. And those are components of that. And so, together, laid over each other, we are able to tell a really holistic story about the opportunity that exists for all people here in our state,” Grinnell said during a press conference Tuesday.

Officials said the state plans on airing the "You Can in Michigan" ads in 10 states and Washington D.C. They said they hope to reach places where there are existing talent pools for tech and other future-oriented jobs.

A press releasethat accompanied the announcement said there’s $20 million in the state budget for the campaign over its first two years to cover production and development.

Not all reception to the campaign has been warm, however. Representative Mark Tisdel (R-Rochester Hills) said the state should focus on lowering taxes and backing off a clean energy plan if the state hoped to attract more people.

“If Michigan is serious about growth, we have to address the root causes of our current population decline, starting by making our state more affordable for families and job providers,” Tisdel said in a press release.

The comments echo recommendations made last month by the West Michigan Policy Forum.

During Tuesday’s announcement press conference, Zach Gorchow of the Gongwer News Service asked Governor Gretchen Whitmer about the critique.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer addressed those critiques by saying the state has had a strong track record with past campaigns, like Pure Michigan.

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Colin Jackson is the Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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