ESCANABA - Gov. Rick Snyder is covering a lot of ground this week, going back and forth between a scheduled tour of several stops in the Upper Peninsula and downstate to the flooded city of Detroit.
Today he was in Escanaba where it's "Governor's Day" at the U.P. State Fair.
During an interview at the Daily Press this morning, Snyder answered questions about his accomplishments in office the past four years and what he would like to improve on in the future if elected for a second term in November.
Jenny Lancour | Daily Press
Above, Gov. Rick Snyder leaves the Daily Press following an interview this morning.
Snyder touted his balanced budget each of the past four years including a half billion dollar rainy day fund. In addition, the state's economy has improved with more jobs, an increased personal income, a growing population, and increased funding for K-12 education.
Other areas of growth have occurred statewide in the fields of construction, timber, mining, manufacturing and the state's Pure Michigan program, he added. Skilled trade has experienced growth but Snyder said more improvement needs to take place in this area.
"There's more work to be done," he said. "We need to get skilled trades going. There's a lot of jobs not being filled out there. There's a talent issue here."
Snyder - campaigning as "One Tough Nerd" - said he's excited about the growing interest of young people in robotics technology. He encourages companies to sponsor students and help pay for their training to fill skilled trade positions.
Snyder said job talent in mechanics and technology needs to continue to improve in the state, saying Michigan can "lead the charge on solving that problem."
"This will give the state a strategic advantage. These are mobile and transferrable jobs," he noted.
Also campaigning as "The Comeback Kid," Snyder said he wants to reinforce the recovery accomplishments made under his governorship.
That includes increased jobs, improved education, and a more accountable government during the next four years, he said.
The state is on the road to recovery and needs to keep up the comeback, Snyder added.
Other upcoming issues discussed include continued development of energy throughout the state, he said, mentioning Escanaba's power plant.
Municipalities also need to continue to work together on cooperative efforts, he added. Later this afternoon, Snyder will be participating in a ceremonial bill-signing ceremony for the development of the Next Michigan Economic Development Zone in the Central U.P.
The governor will be touring the fairgrounds today and also speak at the Governor's Luncheon there. He said he's looking forward to visiting the fair including the Gas and Steam Village and attending the Veteran of the Year ceremony.