Sen. Colbeck Encourages NASA to Partner with Michigan Businesses

(LANSING, MI) – Today State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) spoke before program managers, engineers and chief technologists from NASA about the wealth of partnership opportunities available in Michigan. Colbeck spoke at the Connection Point Breakfast which was hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Members of NASA’s Goddard Flight Center, Langley Research Center and Glenn Research Center are in Michigan to explore partnership opportunities with Michigan companies.

In his message to NASA personnel, Senator Colbeck talked about the wide range of qualified businesses in Michigan ready and willing to partner with NASA on upcoming initiatives and the opportunities to expand development in a variety of industries including the high tech sector and the auto industry.

“Michigan offers excellent partnership opportunities for NASA and other similar organizations,” Colbeck said. “Our state has some of the most cutting-edge technology firms in the world and is leading the nation in tech job growth, according to the latest 2010 TechAmerica report.  In addition, just last month Newsweek/The Daily Beast ranked Michigan as the best state in the nation for job growth.

“Our workforce features a world-class blend of advanced engineering, information technology specialists, skilled trades, and entrepreneurs.  Our infrastructure includes high tech development areas such as Automation Alley and Aerotropolis.

Our universities are leaders in technology.   These universities have a long history of working with government agencies and industries.  These partnerships have been instrumental in Michigan’s recent economic climate resurgence.

“I am a product of one our public universities, the University of Michigan, ranked the #5 aerospace engineering program in the US by US News.  During my tenure at the university, I personally participated in two partnerships – one with the government and one with private industry.

“As an undergraduate student in the aerospace engineering department, I was a co-op student working with Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, CA on the International Space Station.  As a graduate student in the aerospace engineering department, I worked on Project SCORE in partnership with NASA.  This tradition of partnering our educational institutions with government and private industry continues today throughout all of Michigan’s education community.

“Under the leadership of our new Governor and my fellow legislators, Michigan has renewed its commitment to creating a business environment that makes it easier than ever to start and grow businesses.

“We have put forward an aggressive agenda in the Legislature this year to help attract businesses and jobs to our state. We have cut taxes on Michigan businesses by $1.7 billion and ending double taxation for more than 95,000 small business owners.  We slashed bureaucratic red tape with legislation aimed at requiring regulators to adopt common sense tests on any proposed rules and to speed up the permitting process.  We have also provided employers with new tools such as www.mitalent.org to connect them with the talent that they need to succeed.

“We are serious about bringing jobs to Michigan and are working to get the word out that our state is open for business. We are very supportive of these collaborative partnerships and strongly encourage NASA and other organizations interested in creating partnerships or starting or expanding businesses in the high tech industry to visit Michigan and see all of the resources we have to offer,” Colbeck concluded.