The best Advance stories you might have missed in 2020

BY: - December 31, 2020

Quotable of the Year: “I have grave concerns about our legislators, and the press, everybody else who works at the Capitol. … I know that schools aren’t doing the same types of activities that they used to, but if things don’t change, I mean, my kids went and visited the state Capitol and I signed […]

Ivanka Trump tours Warren GM facility

BY: - September 2, 2020

Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter, on Wednesday toured a General Motors design and tech facility in metro Detroit. Ivanka Trump, also an adviser to the president, joined GM CEO Mary Barra on a two-hour-long tour of GM’s Technical Learning University (TLU), which is located at the company’s Global Technical Center in Warren. TLU’s manufacturing laboratory […]

Pence talks reopening, meets John James during Macomb Co. swing

BY: - June 18, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday visited Michigan to tour manufacturing plants in Macomb County, part of a swing through the newly reopened state. U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia joined Pence in Sterling Heights. Both officials said the Trump administration can expand Michigan’s economy — and by extension, the national economy — to the […]

Will there be a new federal agency to revive the Great Lakes region? 

BY: - May 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Great Lakes region took a beating last decade with the collapse of its manufacturing sector.  The region’s economy has been in recovery — but the pandemic threatens to deal another devastating blow. Unemployment is spiking and cities and states are facing massive revenue losses, which have the potential to destabilize the region’s […]

Some workers worry about safety as manufacturing plants reopen

BY: - May 12, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced last week that manufacturing companies could reopen Monday as a part of her MI Safe Start Plan. Her plan to reopen manufacturing companies, which accounts for 19% of the state’s economy, represents a significant part in re-engaging the state’s economy. The decision also falls under phase three of her six-part plan […]

Whitmer extends stay-home order until May 28, clears manufacturing to reopen 

BY: - May 7, 2020

Michiganders are ordered to stay home for another three weeks, but manufacturers will be able to go back to work Monday.  “Manufacturing is an important part of our economy, there’s no question,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.  “And as we’ve done the risk assessment, we feel comfortable that with these safety protocols we can safely re-engage.” […]

Pfizer to produce COVID-19 vaccine in Kalamazoo

BY: - May 5, 2020

More than 4,100 deaths and almost 44,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Michigan — which will now be one of three states where Pfizer will begin manufacturing a vaccine to prevent the disease. On Monday, Pfizer announced it will begin manufacturing a vaccine at a site in Kalamazoo, along with other sites located […]


Rick Haglund: Big 3 automakers could enlist to produce COVID-19 medical equipment

BY: - March 20, 2020

Detroit became known as “the arsenal of democracy” almost 80 years ago as automakers transitioned from civilian to military production, a crucial element in the Allies’ victory over Germany and Japan in World War II. As the deadly coronavirus grips the nation, could Michigan become “the arsenal of health,” helping to defeat a virus that […]


Column: Real pay data show Trump’s ‘blue collar boom’ is more of a bust for workers, in 3 charts

BY: - February 25, 2020

If you thought workers’ hourly pay was finally rising, think again. At first glance, the latest data – which came out on Feb. 7 – look pretty good. They show nominal hourly earnings rose 3.1% in January from a year earlier. But the operative word here is nominal, which means not adjusted for changes in […]

Employees works at Ford Motor Plant

Michigan manufacturing sees ups and downs on Trump’s watch

BY: and - February 25, 2020

In 2016, Donald Trump ran on “bringing back” manufacturing jobs to Rust Belt states like Michigan, which was one factor in his surprise wins in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (and less surprising victory in neighboring Ohio).  The results of that promise, however, have been quite muddled.  Michigan is down 5,300 manufacturing jobs since Trump took […]


Rick Haglund: Whitmer should address Michigan worker pay in her State of the State speech

BY: - January 11, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will have plenty of topics to tackle in her second State of the State speech on Jan. 29. We’ll no doubt hear about a new road funding plan after the Republican-controlled Legislature refused to raise even a single penny toward her request for a 45-cent hike in the gas tax last year. […]


Rick Haglund: Research shows trade, not automation, is killing manufacturing jobs

BY: - December 8, 2019

More than 5 million manufacturing jobs — almost 300,000 of them in Michigan — have been lost since the most recent employment peak in 1998. Many economists have attributed the huge loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs mostly to booming productivity, enabled by the increasing use of robots and other automated processes in factories. But Susan […]