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DETROIT-Attorney General Jennifer M. Granholm, a candidate to replace Gov. JohnEngler, includes creation of a technology corridor and assistance to older cities’ development efforts in her economic plan for Michigan. The plan was released duringthe Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce 2002 Policy Leadership Conferenceon Mackinac Island.

She wants to create a Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor, to build upon the state’s Life Sciences Corridor, by adding a high technology corridor that leverages Michigan automotive legacy and a homeland security technology corridor. These corridors would bring in companies to form a triangle of tech corridors, Granholm says.

“To make sure that Michigan’s economy stays robust, creates good jobs, and that our people are prepared to fill those jobs, we must take a bold, forward-looking approach,” she says. “We need to plant the seeds today for the emerging industries of tomorrow, and once again, use our state’s assets to our advantage. North Carolina has the Research Triangle. California has Silicon Valley. Michigan will have the Technology Tri-Corridor.”

At the center of this effort would be the creation of a number of technology laboratories located on and around the campuses of Michigan’s great universities. These universities would serve as the incubator of ideas that could turn into actual commercial products.

The tech corridor would be supplemented by Regional Skills Alliances–partnerships of business, labor, community colleges, and universities–that will develop and provide training and re-training for the jobs of the future, and work in alignment with the Technology Tri-Corridor.

Granholm also wants to use the Grow Michigan Fund to provide low-interest loans intargeted redevelopment areas. However, she insists private enterprise take most of the financial burden. She said she will name a team of “blight busters” empowered to tear down dangerous, abandoned properties, speed clearance of titles, dispose of vacant state-owned urban land and assemble packages of land suitable for redevelopment.

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