Whitmer Celebrates Impact of Student Debt Forgiveness

Whitmer Celebrates Impact of Student Debt Forgiveness

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August 24, 2022

Contact: press@michigan.gov


Gov. Whitmer Celebrates Impact of Student Debt Forgiveness on 1.4 Million Michiganders

Around 700,000 people will have their debt halved or forgiven entirely, keeping more money in their pockets, helping them pay the bills and invest in their future


LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer celebrated the impact of the recent decision to forgive $10,000 in student loan debt on Michigan’s working families. Up to 50% of Michiganders with federal student debt could have their loans cut in half or forgiven entirely. The pause on payments for all borrowers has been extended through the end of the year.


“The decision to cancel $10,000 in student loan debt and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients will make a real difference for 1.4 million Michiganders that have student loans, putting money back in their pockets,” said Governor Whitmer. “Nearly 700,000 Michiganders will have their debt cut in half or eliminated entirely, lifting a huge burden off their backs. People can use these savings to buy a home, start a business, get married, or start a family. I will work with anyone to keep lowering the cost of higher education and offering more paths for Michiganders to earn a higher education tuition-free, without going into debt in the first place.”


Reducing Debt for Michiganders

Michiganders earning less than $125,000 and married couples earning less than $250,000 will have $10,000 in student loan debt forgiven. Pell Grant recipients will have $20,000 in student debt forgiven. This decision will benefit up to 1.4 million Michiganders that have federal student loans. Today 30% of Michiganders with federal student loans, approximately 420,000 people, owe less than $10,000 and this opportunity would forgive all of their debt. Around 50% of Michiganders with federal student debt, approximately 700,000 people, owe less than $20,000, and their debt would be cut in half or forgiven entirely. Nearly 700,000 more Michiganders will receive important loan relief.


Additionally, the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections for all borrowers has been extended through December 31, 2022.


In tandem with the debt forgiveness, a new rule from the U.S. Department of Education will ensure that borrowers on income-based repayment plans will pay no more than 5% of their discretionary monthly income on student loans, down from 10%. This will cut out of pocket costs by half, saving Michiganders hundreds of dollars a month.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Background

This decision is in addition to federal opportunities for Michiganders to reduce their student loan debt. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) offers loan forgiveness to those who work in public service after 10 years of employment and on-time payments. As of June 2022, 6,120 Michiganders have had $358 million in loans forgiven under the PSLF. Over 148,000 more Michiganders may be eligible due to the recent PSLF waiver. Borrowers can apply by visiting studentaid.gov/pslf/.


Governor Whitmer’s Bipartisan Investments in Tuition-Free Higher Education

Since taking office, Governor Whitmer has worked across the aisle to make college more affordable by expanding tuition-free higher education and skills training for Michiganders over 25, future educators, and talented young students pursuing a degree at public Michigan universities.


She established and funded the bipartisan Michigan Reconnect program, which has put over 100,000 people on the path to tuition-free higher education or skills training. With the recent, bipartisan budget Governor Whitmer signed, Michigan funded $10,000 scholarships for 2,500 future Michigan educators every year and offered school districts funds for Grow Your Own Programs, helping districts train staff for teaching positions, tuition-free. She also expanded scholarships for young Michiganders pursuing higher education at one of the state’s public universities.


Business and Community Investments Create and Retain 672 Jobs

Business and Community Investments Create and Retain 672 Jobs

Governor Whitmer Header


August 23, 2022

Contact: press@michigan.gov


Gov. Whitmer Announces Business and Community Investments that Will Create and Retain 672 Jobs


  • Dana Thermal Products establishing new operations in Auburn Hills, creating 200 high-wage jobs
  • Neogen constructing new facility in downtown Lansing, investing $71.5 million
  • Community revitalization project in Detroit will bring new vibrancy and density to Brush Park neighborhood


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval of a range of projects, including support for business expansion projects in Auburn Hills and Lansing, a community revitalization project in Detroit, continued site readiness efforts and other actions that will continue to strengthen Michigan’s economy. In total, the projects approved today during MSF’s board meeting are expected to generate more than $153 million in investment around the state and create or retain 672 jobs for Michiganders.


“Today’s Michigan Strategic Fund approvals will create and retain 672 good-paying jobs and invest $153 million across Auburn Hills, Lansing, and Detroit,” said Governor Whitmer. “These projects will build on our manufacturing heritage and advance our mobility and electrification leadership. Together, we will help us continue to drive growth in Michigan by funding economic development projects, investing in our communities, creating jobs for our residents, and advancing initiatives that build long-term opportunity throughout the state. I will work with anyone to keep getting things done and grow our economy.”


Dana Thermal Products establishing new operations in Auburn Hills, investing $54.2 million


Dana Thermal Products, LLC is a subsidiary of Dana Incorporated, a global leader in thermal management technologies for the mobility industry. The company’s parent employs more than 40,000 people in 31 countries.


Dana provides various thermal management technologies including battery cooling plates, cold plates and power electronics cooling to global automakers. The company anticipates that one of its largest opportunities for growth is within the electrification market and is investing to position itself as a leader in EV technologies as core customers and markets are making the shift.


Dana plans to lease a facility in the city of Auburn Hills to support a new battery cooling plate manufacturing operation. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $54.2 million and create 200 jobs, supported by a $2.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in the Southeast U.S. and Canada.


“The $44 million investment in electric vehicle battery production is outstanding news for the highly skilled workers who can fill those new jobs,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “It’s also a boost for the advanced manufacturing reputation for both Michigan and Oakland County.”


The project contributes to the MEDC’s ongoing efforts to strengthen Michigan’s leadership in automotive manufacturing and builds on the state’s work to position itself as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification. Dana chose Michigan for the project because of the manufacturing and engineering talent as well as the proximity to automotive customers.


“We are honored that Dana Thermal Products, LLC has chosen Auburn Hills for their next strategic investment. Their expertise and innovation will complement and enhance our existing world-class business community,” said Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel. “This commitment by Dana Thermal Products, LLC strengthens Auburn Hills’ reputation as being a leader in the future of electrification and mobility. We appreciate their confidence and look forward to partnering with them to provide an environment where their business can grow and thrive.”


The city of Auburn Hills plans to offer staff time and assistance in support of the project. For information on careers with Dana, visit https://www.dana.com/careers/.


Today’s announcement continues the growth of Dana Incorporated in Michigan. In February, the MSF board approved a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program grant to support Dana’s new electric vehicle technology center in Novi, a project that is expected to generate a total capital investment of $9 million and create 150 high-wage jobs.


Food and animal safety solutions provider Neogen expanding in downtown Lansing, investing $71.5 million


Neogen Corporation, founded in Lansing in 1982, is consolidating existing operations and creating a state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility in Lansing. Neogen develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety, employing nearly 1,800 people worldwide with more than 600 in Lansing.


The Neogen Expansion Brownfield Redevelopment Project will include the construction of a new three-story manufacturing and research building on a vacant a parcel of land in downtown Lansing and is expected to generate a total capital investment of $71.5 million and create 77 new jobs as well as retain 350 jobs. The project is supported by a $324,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing site in Kentucky.


“Neogen is a proud member of the Lansing community, and we are pleased to call Lansing our corporate headquarters. From our earliest days as a technology developed at Michigan State University to the present, the Greater Lansing community has supported us, and we are proud to be a part of such a diverse and thriving community,” said Neogen President and CEO John Adent. “I want to thank Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, the City of Lansing, the Lansing City Council, and the Greater Lansing area for continuing to support Neogen, and we are excited to continue growing together. I also want to thank the Lansing Economic Development Corporation, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and the Michigan Strategic Fund for all of their help and collaboration as we work through this project.”


The City of Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received MSF approval of $1,576,751 in state tax capture for the reimbursement of eligible brownfield activities at the site. Neogen Properties IX, LLC is the single purpose development entity created by Neogen to undertake the project.


Neogen is committed to its employees and their career advancement by utilizing a combination of job banding, career ladders and succession planning. The company also provides a tuition reimbursement program and has established a quality technician apprentice program. The project will transform an underutilized property in downtown Lansing, dramatically improving the property’s appearance and bringing new economic activity to downtown Lansing. In addition, the project will bring 77 good jobs to Lansing residents in the life sciences, research and development, and professional services sectors.


“For the last year and a half, there’s been a great partnership between City of Lansing, LEAP, and the MEDC to put together a multi-tier incentive package to keep NEOGEN growing in the City of Lansing and the state,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “Additionally, we thank Sparrow Hospital for their critical partnership and most importantly thank NEOGEN for choosing Lansing and the state of Michigan for this continued effort to successfully diversify our local and state economy.”


The city of Lansing is supporting the project through approval of the local tax capture valued at $3,267,339, and also plans to provide staff or economic assistance in support of the project. The city of Lansing is certified with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program. Individuals interested in careers with Neogen should visit https://www.neogen.com/careers/.


Coda Brush Park project


Community revitalization project in Detroit will add vibrancy, density to Brush Park neighborhood


The Coda Brush Park project includes the rehabilitation of an existing single-story building and construction of additions that will result in a five-story, mixed-use development in the Brush Park neighborhood of Detroit. When complete, the project will include a ground-level restaurant and bar, a second-story office and three stories of for-sale condos and integrated parking.


The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $27.9 million and create 45 full-time equivalent jobs, and will help meet demand for restaurant, housing, office and parking space in the neighborhood. In addition, it will bring long-vacant property back to productive use, add vibrancy and density, and generate additional economic activity in the area.


The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority today received MSF approval of $1,218,829 in state tax capture for the reimbursement of eligible brownfield activities at the site. The city of Detroit is supporting the project through the approval of the local tax capture valued at $3.5 million. The city of Detroit is engaged with MEDC’s RRC program.


 “The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority supports this exciting, new mixed-use project for CODA Brush Park that will add jobs, housing and vibrancy to this historic community,” said Brian Vosburg, Director of Brownfield Redevelopment at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “We’re also pleased there will be elements of the original structure incorporated into the new development, reflective of the community’s rich history.”


“We’re grateful for the support of the DEGC, Detroit City Council, MEDC and the MSF Board and staff,” said CODA Detroit Developer Michael VanOverbeke. “Without their assistance, this project would not have been able to go forward. We all feel that this development will be a great addition to the Brush Park neighborhood.”


Additional funding approved for Michigan Build Ready Sites Program 


MSF today approved $5 million in funds from the Michigan Business Development Program to be transferred to the Michigan Build Ready Sites Program. The program is designed to assist with the development and/or enhancement of sites to make the state investment-ready and competitive for business attraction and expansion projects.


The program provides financial or technical support to fund activities that will increase Michigan’s inventory of development-ready industrial sites. Activities could include site development studies or site material development, site implementation or land assembly activities, and more.


The program supports MEDC’s strategic focus of continuing to hone Michigan’s competitive advantage and be prepared to attract companies in key focus industries to locate and grow in Michigan. As MEDC courts companies to grow or locate in Michigan, there is a need for the development and/or enhancement of industrial sites to make them build-ready and competitive for site selection projects.


“Michigan is aggressively pursuing site readiness in a range of locations and sizes, including strategic mega-sites considered to be 1,000+ acres, to grow an inventory of market responsive sites to position Michigan as the state of choice of site selectors,” said MEDC Executive Vice President, Chief Real Estate and Global Attraction OfficerTerri Fitzpatrick. “MEDC is experiencing a never-before-seen level of RFPs and inquiries for sites here in the state. This funding will advance sites to ready them for investment in Michigan.”


The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved the following:


  • Bedrock Transformational Brownfield Plan amendments – MSF approval of modifications to Bedrock’s original Transformational Brownfield Plan, approved in May 2018, to reflect updated details to project, new completion dates and changes to the TBP law. The amendments do not increase company’s incentive value or change their investment amount.


  • Design for Michigan Manufacturing Program at the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Tech University – Approval of $1.5 million to support the economic development program at LTU designed to develop and launch more products made in Michigan.


  • Funding allocation for the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Advanced Materials Hub – MSF approval of additional funding for the Michigan Technological University MTRAC Advanced Materials Innovation Hub. The hub focuses on commercializing technologies related to advanced applied material, systems, technologies or devices.


  • Funding tourism and business marketing efforts – MSF approval on the allocation of FY23 appropriated funding to MEDC’s tourism and business marketing initiatives to promote Michigan as a world-class business and travel destination. The MSF Board approved $15 million in appropriated American Rescue Plan Act federal funds to the existing contract with MMGY Global for travel marketing and advertising initiatives that promote Michigan as a premier four-season destination. The MSF Board also approved $5,782,000 to the existing contract with Lambert/9th Wonder for business marketing and advertising activities that attract, retain and grow businesses that deliver economic opportunity to Michigan.


“The projects approved today build on our statewide leadership in EV manufacturing, bring good jobs to Michigan residents, support vibrant communities, help increase growth opportunities for businesses ranging from start-ups to established companies, and better prepare our state to compete for business attraction opportunities,” said Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO and Michigan Strategic Fund President and Chair Quentin Messer Jr. “We are grateful to Governor Whitmer, legislators, and local officials for their continued support for our programs, and we appreciate the hard work of the Michigan Strategic Fund board. Today’s MSF actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to ensuring our work is making an impact no matter where our friends and neighbors reside across Michigan.”

AG Calls on FTC to Increase Obligations on Telemarketers

AG Calls on FTC to Increase Obligations on Telemarketers

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

August 23, 2022

Media Contact:
AG Press

AG Nessel Calls on the FTC to Increase Obligations on Telemarketers

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a coalition of attorneys general calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to increase obligations on telemarketers by requiring them to keep additional records about their activities so that law enforcement can hold them accountable when they break the law.

“Requiring telemarketers to keep accurate records of their activities is the only way we can ensure that they are abiding by the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).” Nessel said. “Consumers must be protected from abusive telemarketing practices, including illegal robocalls, and these records can be the evidence needed to hold bad actors accountable for breaking the law. This update will be a needed deterrent to those who choose to violate the TSR. I am happy to stand with my fellow attorneys general in supporting the proposed comprehensive update to this important rule.”

The TSR went into effect in 1995 to help prevent telemarketers from scamming, harassing, or threatening people. Over the past 25 years, the FTC has updated the Rule to address the rise in unwanted calls and scam calls, but the Rule has not been updated to account for the additional records that are now often necessary to help ensure telemarketers are playing by the rules. The old recordkeeping requirements are not enough to enable law enforcement to go after many bad actors.

The attorneys general are encouraging the FTC to adopt proposed changes to the Rule, including requiring telemarketers and sellers to maintain the following types of information:

  • a copy of each unique, prerecorded message;
  • call detail records of telemarketing campaigns;
  • records that prove a seller has an established business relationship with a consumer;
  • records that prove a consumer is a previous donor to a particular charitable organization;
  • records of the service providers that a telemarketer uses to deliver outbound calls;
  • records of a seller or charitable organization’s entity-specific Do-Not-Call registries; and
  • records of the FTC’s Do-Not-Call registry that was used to ensure compliance with the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

AG Nessel is joined in submitting the comments by the Attorneys General of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

 A copy of the comments letter is available here.

“Create Your Calm” campaign seeks to defuse emotions

“Create Your Calm” campaign seeks to defuse emotions

MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


CONTACT: Chelsea Wuth, 517-241-2112, WuthC@michigan.gov

“Create Your Calm” campaign seeks to defuse emotions,
enhance learning in K-12 classrooms
Slogan is used on child-friendly items made available by the Stay Well program

LANSING, Mich. — As students and teachers across the state head back into K-12 classrooms this month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) Stay Well program is offering educational tools and resources to help create and maintain a calm learning environment.

Among the free tools available are child-friendly “Create Your Calm” posters, stickers and magnets. These items demonstrate simple breathing and emotional grounding exercises that anyone can do when feeling overwhelmed, anxious, tense or distracted. The items may be ordered by completing this form, which is available on the “Resources for Schools” page of the Stay Well website.

The grant-funded Stay Well program launched in early 2020 to help Michiganders cope with emotional distress caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis. The program is sharply focused on serving youth and their caregivers, including parents, teachers and school counselors.

“Numerous studies show the mental health of our young people declined during the pandemic,” said Jody Lewis, Stay Well program director. “That has made teaching all the more challenging, leading to burnout and emotional stress among educators. Create Your Calm is intended as a reminder to kids and adults alike that we can concentrate and learn better when our minds and bodies are relaxed. We hope schools – and youth-oriented organizations of all types – will take advantage of these free resources.”

Also available on the Resources for Schools page are recorded webinars with strategies for addressing behavioral and mental health issues among students:

To learn more, visit Michigan.gov/StayWell.

MDHHS demonstrates strong progress in keeping children safe

MDHHS demonstrates strong progress in keeping children safe

MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112, WheatonB@michigan.gov

MDHHS demonstrates strong progress in keeping children safe

Michigan has implemented 67 improvement strategies in four months

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today described its progress in improving safety and other outcomes for youth in the state’s child welfare system.

The update came during a virtual appearance before Judge Nancy G. Edmunds in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

“I’m pleased and optimistic,” Judge Edmunds said during the court hearing. “I think everyone seems to be heading in the right direction with the same goal in mind.” She said she would like the monitors appointed by the court to review and validate the department’s implementation of the new strategies and then share with the court the effects of the changes.

In four months MDHHS has implemented 67 strategies identified in a plan it developed in April to improve services provided to youth and families involved with the state’s child welfare system.

“We have made substantial strides in the last few months and will continue to improve our child welfare system,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “We have devoted significant resources to this goal. Our team – MDHHS staff and our private agency partners – continue to work hard on behalf of children and families. We will not rest until Michigan accomplishes its goal to keep our children safe.”

Some of the improvement strategies that MDHHS detailed today include:

  • Creating specialized staffing positions throughout the state to support relative/kinship caregivers, with more than 289 caregivers assisted by the staff.
  • Creating the Division of Child Safety and Program Compliance to assist and provide additional oversight of contracted agencies that provide congregate care or place children in foster care homes or facilities.
  • Increasing training for frontline staff and improved processes to reduce the number of sibling groups separated in foster care.
  • Forming a partnership with the State Court Administrative Office to collect data that will help the department and the courts better monitor the time it takes for children to get permanent homes through reunification with their parents or adoption.

Federal court monitors have been tracking the MDHHS’s progress since a court settlement in 2008 following a 2006 lawsuit by the advocacy group Children’s Rights.

To view additional information about MDHHS’s progress in this area, go to www.michigan.gov/ChildWelfareAgreement.