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Snyder signs legislation to expand 21st Century Jobs Fund

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Contact: Sara Wurfel
Office: 517-335-6397

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation giving the state more flexibility in how it awards competitive grants and loans to businesses by expanding the scope of the 21st Century Jobs Fund. The fund will now be available to more industries involved in research and advanced technology.

The governor called for the legislation in his State of the State address, saying it will help create jobs.

"If you look at history, Michigan's most rapid periods of job growth came when we were a leader of technology and innovation," Snyder said. "By eliminating restrictions and opening up the 21st Century Jobs Fund to a larger base of companies that can compete for resources, we are taking a step toward creating an environment where small businesses can grow and create jobs."

Currently, only companies in select sectors may compete for funding through the jobs program. Those already covered include companies related to advanced automotive manufacturing and materials technology, homeland security and defense technology, life sciences technology and alternative energy industries.

Senate Bill 144, sponsored by Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, adds to this list by allowing companies engaged in information technology and agricultural processing to compete for funds to build and sustain their businesses and help create jobs. In addition to these two new sectors, the legislation gives the Michigan Strategic Fund Board flexibility to consider awarding grants and loans to any company that can demonstrate significant advancements in any innovative technology.

"Michigan is already a major producer of agricultural products, and we can add a step in the value chain by doing more of the processing here in-state," said Green. "Our focus also has to expand to include any innovative technology, opening the door to job creators from an unlimited range of industries."

S.B. 144 is now Public Act 22 of 2011.