The National Marine Manufacturers Association held its Michigan “fly-in” last week. The effort, which follows a similar event in Florida in March, included advocacy efforts by the state’s boat and equipment manufacturers and other interested parties. The day included meetings with some of the state’s top officials and decisionmakers at the state capital. The NMMA said in today’s Currents E-newsletter that 16 stakeholders from 11 organizations participated in the event.
David Dickerson, NMMA vice president of state advocacy efforts, led the group, which included educational and lobbying elements. The NMMA also invited Doug Ross, senior advisor for Michigan Prosperity and Governor Gretchen Whitmer, to speak about workforce shortages and steps the state is taking to prevent the employment gaps.
The attendees were also part of panel discussions on partnering with the Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry and managing Aquatic Invasive Species. The participants on the outdoor recreation panel included Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Director Brad Garmon, just newly appointed to that position, Patti Smith of Silver Spray Sports and member of the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council, and Jill Sims, NMMA manager of Great Lakes policy and engagement. Garmon discussed his commitment to promoting the outdoor recreation industry as a backbone of the state’s economy and working with manufacturers to tackle challenges like workforce development.
The AIS discussion featured Jeff Zuercher from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Jill Wingfield of Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Zuercher provided attendees with an update on the Brandon Road project, while Wingfield focused on managing a range of AIS in the region, such as sea lamprey, mussels, and carp.
Senator Curt Vanderwall (R-MI-35) delivered keynote remarks during the working lunch session, where he highlighted the importance of manufacturing in Michigan. The attendees met with 12 legislators and staffers at the capital. They delivered the industry’s positions on key policy priorities.