Michigan is the strongest, most driven workforce in the country. We always have been and I believe that we always will be. But it’s no secret that the recent past was extremely hard on our middle class families. Unfortunately hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost and while many people are back to work today, stagnant wages still plague Michigan’s economy. Skyrocketing costs, from health care to gas, groceries and childcare costs are threatening many families’ basic survival. Yet we do have reason to be hopeful for the future.

We have added more than 200,000 jobs since 2010. Metro Detroit’s unemployment rate continues to drop and Michigan’s unemployment rate as a whole has fallen to levels that we haven’t seen in years. Though they still face challenges, “The Big Three” have resurged and nationally, we have seen private-sector job growth for several years.

We cannot, however, be satisfied with this progress. There is much more work to do. We must continue working to revitalize Michigan’s economy, accelerate its growth and put people to work in good-paying jobs. Michigan must become an innovative leader in emerging fields like alternative energy, while also focusing on our strengths in areas like manufacturing and agriculture. We must also focus on strengthening our economy from the inside out by making it easier for our small businesses to create jobs for our neighbors and support our local economies. And although we must be focused on moving our economy forward, we can’t leave our middle class workers behind. As your Congresswoman I will work to make sure Michigan can provide our workers with the job training and workforce development that they need to learn new skills and compete for good-paying jobs. Doing so will help make ensure that Michigan businesses can secure all of the talent that they require, right here at home.