Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
To: State Department Directors and Autonomous Agency Heads
From: Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Date: February 25, 2020
Re: Creating the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification
Michigan has long been the hub of mobility. It is the birthplace and home of the American automotive industry and, for over 100 years, the economic fortunes of its businesses, communities, and families have been closely tied to that industry.
Today, the automotive industry, and the mobility sector writ large, is undergoing a period of unprecedented change. The universe of mobility options is expanding, and how those options are designed, produced, owned, and used is transforming. The last ten years have seen more change in the way people and goods move than in the prior 100 years. The next ten years will see even more change.
Six trends are at the core of this transformation: autonomous driving; vehicle connectivity; powertrain electrification; shared mobility; intelligent automation; and global supply chain. Michigan’s future prosperity will be shaped by its ability to master these trends and keep pace with the change they are driving.
Michigan is well positioned to meet this challenge. Many states are competing for leadership in the mobility sector, but none can boast the assets that Michigan can: engineering talent in abundance; a deep manufacturing heritage; elite research universities; and the nation’s most extensive connected infrastructure.
To leverage these assets fully and secure Michigan’s position as a global leader in the future of mobility, the State must think creatively and act comprehensively. It must drive investment in Michigan’s mobility sector by establishing Michigan as the premier state to build, test, commercialize, and scale the technologies that are redefining the field. It must protect and strengthen Michigan’s auto manufacturing core, by bolstering its national competitiveness and marking a path for its evolution. It must encourage entrepreneurship and create an ecosystem that supports young companies as they start up and scale up. It must invest in new ways and at new scale in Michigan’s workforce, to develop and attract the skills and talent necessary to meet the changing demands of the mobility sector. And it
must expand Michigan’s global leadership in developing the systems and networks necessary for the deployment of connected infrastructure, autonomous technologies, shared transportation, and electric vehicles.
Achieving these goals will require a concerted, coordinated, and sustained effort across numerous departments and agencies of state government, as well as productive partnerships with stakeholders in the public and private sectors. The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (“Department”), with its focus on aligning and strengthening this state’s economic and workforce development activities, is well suited to spearhead and organize this critical work, to ensure it is carried out as fully and effectively as possible.
Acting under sections 1 and 8 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, I direct the following:
This directive is effective immediately.
Thank you for your cooperation in implementing this directive.