In 2009, the state of Michigan was in a downward spiral. Statewide, it was hemorrhaging jobs, and unemployment offices were receiving 800,000 to 1,000,000 calls per day.

Governor Jennifer Granholm, then in her second term, recalled, “In our unemployment offices, people were in line down the street. [There were] people [who] had never collected unemployment before. The system was like a cancer patient that was breaking down everywhere.”1

Granholm had reason to be concerned, and as time went on, the situation only worsened. Moreover, she had long believed that Michigan’s manufacturing culture was working against the situation.

“People were so used to boom-or-bust cycles,” she lamented. “They knew that historically, ...

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