ALPENA - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder visited Northeast Michigan on Monday, stopping at a variety of places and communities, including Alpena Community College where a town hall meeting was held to discuss issues and updates in Lansing. Snyder answered resident questions and shared his views on reinventing Michigan in front of a panel made up of state Rep. Peter Pettalia, Sen. John Moolenaar, and ACC President Olin Joynton.
"It's important to get around Michigan and talk to my customers," Snyder said. "I really enjoy hearing questions and what's on people's minds."
However, when it came to issues that Michigan residents face, Synder's approach is to look at politics from an innovative stance and create plans and partnerships with determined knowledge.
News Photo by Emily Siegmon
Gov. Rick Snyder addresses those in attendance during a town hall meeting Monday on the campus of Alpena Community College. The stop was just one of several Snyder made in Northeast Michigan on Monday
"We need to make things happen through positive action. There are 80,000 open jobs in our state and a lot of opportunities revolved around skilled trade," he said.
In order to create better job opportunities, Snyder suggests working with local schools to ensure educational programs are available, especially in skilled trade. He also said a few pilot programs are in place, including an apprenticeship program through partnerships with schools, marketing ideas, and through www.michworks.org, a search engine with facts and job opportunities that are in place for Michigan job seekers and employers.
"A lot of good things are going on that we need to spread throughout the state through partnerships. Michigan has come back a long way from where we were, but we still have a ways to go," he said.
Snyder stressed the importance of education and the role community colleges have, explaining how he started his higher education at a Michigan community college - Kellogg Community College.
"Jobs have always been my main focus, and the future of our kids. That's how it was when I started running for office, and it has not changed," he said.
Snyder said the biggest educational issue is student growth and if children are succeeding and how they are performing at school. He suggested educational reforms for success and teacher effectiveness as a focal point on education.
Snyder also answered questions about public safety, bridge building, retaining workforce, auto insurance reform, Michigan tax bill, health care, local road funding, economic development, and bovine tuberculosis issues at the town hall meeting.
Most of Snyder's responses centered on reinventing Michigan to create positive results with common sense and relentless positive action. His future plans include adding more roadwork, finding a balanced auto insurance and health care cost containment plan, and building partnerships in order to take a proactive approach to many prominent issues locally and throughout the state.
Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687.