US commerce chief praises Michigan during forum

July 19, 2014 • Business

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, center, joins Michigan CEOs as they participate in a panel discussion on innovation Friday, July 18, 2014, during a Michigan Innovation Forum held at the Whirlpool Corp. North America Headquarters in Benton Harbor, Mich. Pictured right is Fred Bauer, Chairman [auth] and CEO of Gentex and Kevin Lobo, CEO and President of Stryker, far right.(AP Photo/The Herald-Palladium, Don Campbell)

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker says Michigan is “on a roll.”

Pritzker spoke Friday in Benton Harbor at the North American headquarters of Whirlpool. The forum attracted executives from Whirlpool, Dow Chemical, Stryker, Steelcase, Gentex and many other Michigan-based companies.

The Herald-Palladium reports that Pritzker said Michigan has great leaders in business, government and higher education.

Whirlpool Chief Executive Jeff Fettig says companies must reinvent themselves every five years. He says, “You do have to draw the box, but within the box anything goes.”

Pritzker says the Obama administration is putting much emphasis on jobs in manufacturing. She says the perception of manufacturing as “dark and dangerous” must change.

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