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State labor official talks with Mount Pleasant leaders on assisting local businesses

Amy Robinson
Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Susan Corbin walks into a conference room full of local Mount Pleasant leaders.

A Michigan labor official spoke to local business leaders in Mount Pleasant on Monday about how to spend federal pandemic assistance money.

$2.1 billion of a total of $6.5 billion were set aside by Gov. Whitmer (D-MI) from Biden’s American Rescue Plan to invest back into communities, said Susan Corbin, Director of Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

"(Whitmer is) recommending that two point one billion of those be spent on helping to build up the middle class in Michigan and focusing on small businesses who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic," she said.

Corbin wants input from local business leaders to make locally impactful initiatives, she said.

“Everybody right now is struggling with labor issues, so we think some of these investments will help with our labor force participation rate," she said. "We know in Michigan we’re well below the national average, and we need to be making good paying jobs to entice people back into the workforce.”

Some of the new labor initiatives will likely tie in with the governors’ plan to build a 60-percent college educated workforce, Corbin said. It would also provide two years of free community college for adults 25 and older.