Jennifer M. Granholm was elected governor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 with the largest number of votes ever cast for governor in Michigan. With the crisis in the auto industry and the global shift in manufacturing jobs to low wage countries, Michigan has had the toughest economy in the nation. Governor Granholm has worked relentlessly to diversify an economy that for 100 years has been based primarily on automotive manufacturing, seeking to add specific emerging sectors to Michigan's economic base.
In addition to diversifying Michigan's economy, Granholm has played offense by pushing the state to double the number of college graduates, while playing defense by protecting people and Michigan's safety net as the state transitions from an old economy to a new economy. For example, despite the economic challenges, Michigan has the second highest rate of child health care coverage in the nation. Yet, because of the state's economic and revenue challenges, Granholm has told citizens that government can't be all things to all people, and has cut more out of state government, as a percentage, than any state in the nation - cutting 25 percent of state departments, shutting down 13 prison facilities, reforming public employee benefits and pensions, and resolving more than $10 billion in budget deficits.
Granholm's economic agenda includes adding six new sectors, one of which involves aggressive measures to grow a new alternative energy sector that is transforming Michigan's rustbelt image to a greenbelt reality, helping reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, and creating 85,000 jobs by 2020 from the 40 clean energy companies that have chosen Michigan in the past year alone.
As part of her goal to double the number of college graduates, Granholm has signed into law a college prep curriculum for every high school student in Michigan, and some of the toughest turnaround requirements for low-performing schools in the nation. She launched No Worker Left Behind in 2007, a program for displaced adults where the state will pay for the tuition of any unemployed and under-employed citizen to go to community college or technical school to be trained for high-demand jobs. No Worker Left Behind has enrolled more than 136,000 people, with a 75 percent job placement or retention rate - the best results in the nation. Community college enrollment in Michigan has increased by 50 percent this decade.
The Pew Center on the States has twice recognized Michigan in its biannual surveys as one of the best-managed states in the nation.
Governor Granholm began her career in public service as a judicial clerk for Michigan's 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. She became a federal prosecutor in Detroit in 1990, and in 1994, she was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel. Granholm was elected Michigan's first female attorney general in 1998.
Granholm is an honors graduate of both the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She and her husband, Daniel G. Mulhern, have three children.
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