LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs, issued the following statement on Tuesday after the Senate passed a funding measure that included funding for northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula:
“Over the past several weeks, I have been fighting for funds that will help our region and the state and working with whoever I can in Lansing to represent our district well. It was a tough series of negotiations, but we have much to celebrate with the Senate’s passage of this supplemental budget.
“First and foremost, I am proud to have been able to secure nearly $10 million for North Central Michigan College in Petoskey for the creation of the new Career and Technical Education Enhancement Center. This funding will help address the serious workforce development challenges throughout our region.
“I was also able to work to secure nearly $4 million of funding for Northwestern Michigan College’s aviation program to expand their hangar and purchase new aircrafts for this dynamic program — further putting Traverse City “on the map” and securing the city’s spot as a leader in addressing our critical pilot shortage.
“This bill includes significant statewide funding for the recruitment, retention and training of health care workers that will help address a growing crisis we are facing throughout northern Michigan and the eastern Upper Peninsula — one that has had devastating health consequences for our region.
“The programs in this bill include funding for infrastructure that will help attract the next Ford Motor Company advanced manufacturing battery plant. I firmly believe we must do what we can to maintain Michigan’s status as the automobile capital of the world.
“I have watched in sadness for years as our great American industry sets up shop in Tennessee, South Carolina, and California — all because those states made themselves attractive for new investments. No more! This is our industry, and as a state we are standing up to once again put the world on wheels.
“I was proud to stand firm for our district and the workforce that will continue to build northern Michigan and the eastern Upper Peninsula long into the future!”