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Mackinac Policy Conference 2022 to tackle EV jobs in Michigan

As 1,300 leaders travel to Mackinac Island for the Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference on Tuesday to discuss the issues, nothing is more pressing for its long-term prospects than figuring out how to make Michigan more competitive in the race for growing opportunities for electric vehicles.

That assessment comes from John Rakolta Jr., chairman of Walbridge and former US ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, who waves the flag as he sees major opportunities ahead and Michigan misses out if things don’t change — and fast.

The subject of the state being more competitive will be discussed in conference sessions and in more private settings with influential leaders on the island. Stellantis’ announcement on Tuesday that it was bypassing Michigan and setting up its new electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Kokomo, Indiana, only added more fuel to this smoldering long fire.

Rakolta, who has held leadership positions in nearly every major business organization in the state and whose company builds automotive plants and facilities around the world, has a suggestion for how to make a difference in Michigan. : create a working group to examine the situation .

John Rakolta Jr.

It would be made up of leaders from business, government, political parties and trade unions and would be tasked with brainstorming ideas and practical solutions. The group would meet for six months and come up with ideas, but refrain from publishing them until January, once the dust settles after the 2022 election, to mitigate the accusations that often come up about who is responsible for the problems.

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