By: Tyler Clifford
Gov. Rick Snyder is traveling this week to Silicon Valley to tout Michigan as the “global epicenter of mobility” with tech companies, startups and investors. Michigan Economic Development Corp. officials Trevor Pawl, Tino Breithaupt and Kathy Kleckner are joining Snyder on the expedition to the San Francisco Bay Area for the Monday through Wednesday trip. The trip is paid for by corporate funding through the MEDC, Snyder’s spokeswoman Anna Heaton said in an email. She did not say how much was budgeted for the trip. The group plans to meet with new mobility, advanced technology, agriculture and manufacturing companies, participate in roundtables with technology experts, venture capitalists and CEOs, and visit the NASA Ames Research Center to highlight Michigan’s aerospace industry, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The trip will focus on the state’s autonomous vehicle testing centers in Ypsilanti and Flint, connected vehicle roadways system, mobility patents and involvement in the FIRST Robotics World Championships to be held at Cobo Center this month, as well as boosting Michigan’s mobility workforce. “People know us as the auto manufacturing state, but I want to ensure they know we are more than manufacturing,” the term limited Republican governor said in the release. “We are the leader in research, development and testing of cutting-edge vehicle technology and the development of groundbreaking technology in the financial, insurance, agriculture and banking industries as well.” In the announcement, Snyder says Michigan has added 540,000 new jobs in the last seven years, including 88,000 tech jobs.