Anyone who has ever had to call a customer service center can attest to the fact that globalization has changed the face of the job market in this country. Goods and services that once were produced and offered right in the heartland of America have now shifted oversees where costs are lower, and production is cheaper.
This doesn’t, of course mean that the products are better, or that “Bill” in Mumbai can get your internet up and running again or fix your iPhone, but how can one argue with the bottom line in a world driven by the dollar?
Governor Jennifer Granholm, former two-term governor of Michigan, will be appearing this month at the Newport Beach Public Library, to address this and other problems facing the job market, in a talk entitled, “Cracking the Code on How to Grow Jobs in the U.S.”
In 2002, when Granholm was sworn in as the first female governor in the state of Michigan, she had grand plans to reform the state’s educational system and diversify its economy. Unfortunately she took office amid a crumbling infrastructure, an inherited fiscal fiasco, and one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history.
In a state where the economy relies largely on manufacturing and consumer purchases, this spelled an employment disaster.
Determined to pull her state up by its bootstraps, Granholm worked tirelessly to bring about her goals, making education a priority, and endeavoring to create new economic opportunities.
By expanding the state’s economic portfolio to include supplying such things as clean energy, she took Michigan in a direction the world was already headed, offering economic incentives that made her state the epicenter of clean energy development.
Through programs such as “No Worker Left Behind,” which offered state educational funding to qualified individuals, she also allowed unemployed and underemployed adults to take advantage of the education necessary to make them employable in these new job markets.
Former president, Bill Clinton said of Granholm, “Governor Jennifer Granholm faced extraordinary challenges with grace, intelligence, and tenacity. In a weak economy, no state was hit harder than hers. She embraced the challenge of rebuilding Michigan’s economy for the 21st century with new ideas, new jobs, and new businesses. In 2010, Michigan had the largest drop in unemployment in the U.S., thanks in large measure to her tireless effort.”
After leaving office, Granholm took a position as the Director of the American Jobs Project at UC Berkeley, where she also teaches classes in both law and public policy. She is widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the topic of clean energy policy.
Granholm shared her thoughts on economic growth in America in her 2011 book, “A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future,” co-written with her husband, Dan Mulhern. She will now enlighten us with her expertise as well, as she visits the Newport Beach Public Library on both Friday, April 17, and Saturday, April 18.
Friday night’s event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a wine reception, followed by a lecture and Q&A beginning promptly at 7 p.m. The evening will conclude with a book sale and signing, along with coffee and sweets. Tickets are $50 per person, or $45 for Library Foundation members.
Saturday’s appearance will begin at 2 p.m. with a lecture and Q&A, followed by book sales and signing, and of course, coffee and dessert. Tickets are $35 each, or $30 for members.
Both appearances will offer a specially priced $20 ticket option for students and teachers.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit nbplfoundation.org, or call (949) 548-2411.
Edie Crabtree is an avid reader and the mother of three active boys. She can be reached at [email protected]