Grand Rapids Economic Development Executive to Participate in Clinton Global Initiative Event

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The Right Place, Inc. President and CEO, Birgit Klohs, to participate and represent West Michigan at Clinton Global Initiative event, CGI America, on June 29-30, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois.

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Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc.

I’m looking forward to sharing our region’s successes and discovering new solutions to current challenges. I hope other communities around the U.S. find inspiration and new ideas in the growth and collaboration occurring in West Michigan.

The Right Place, Inc. announced today that the organization’s President and CEO, Birgit Klohs, will participate and represent West Michigan in the upcoming Clinton Global Initiative event, CGI America, on June 29-30, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois.

This by invitation-only event will bring together thought leaders from across the U.S. to focus on strengthening American industries, unlocking capital for innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing energy efficiency and smart infrastructure, and training the next generation for the workforce. Other participants of CGI America include: Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Department of the Treasury; Jennifer M. Granholm, Former Governor, State of Michigan, Senior Energy Advisor, Pew Environment Group; Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Governor, State of Indiana; and Jim Rogers, Chairman, President, and CEO, Duke Energy.

“It is an honor to be invited to participate in CGI America and to represent West Michigan,” said Klohs. “I’m looking forward to sharing our region’s successes and discovering new solutions to current challenges. I hope other communities around the U.S. find inspiration and new ideas in the growth and collaboration occurring in West Michigan.”

Klohs will participate in one of the event’s 10 working group sessions, “Made in America: The Future of Manufacturing.” The working group will examine how to improve domestic and international markets for American manufactured goods, strengthen innovation through noncompetitive collaboration, attract foreign investment in American industry, and expand clean energy manufacturing opportunities.

The Right Place, Inc., a leading economic development organization in West Michigan, has supported the region’s manufacturing cluster throughout its 26-year history. Throughout that time, the organization has launched several innovative support tools for the regional manufacturers, including The Right Place Manufacturers Council, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center - West (MMTC-West), and Innovation West Michigan. West Michigan’s manufacturing sector remains one of the largest contributors to the region’s GDP and is responsible for more than 30 percent of area jobs and nearly 40 percent of area incomes. In 2010, area manufacturers contributed more than 3,000 new jobs and invested more than $884 million in West Michigan.

“West Michigan’s manufacturing community is not like most others in the U.S.,” said Klohs. “Manufacturers in the region have developed an environment of open collaboration and competitive sharing, primarily through The Right Place’s Manufacturers Council. From best practices in manufacturing production, to new developments in innovation and sustainability, West Michigan is defining the future of smart manufacturing.”

Other topics covered during the event will include education, green buildings, the healthcare workforce, manufacturing, rural development, service corps, small business growth, smart infrastructure and workforce training. The goal of the event is to generate “Commitments to Action,” new, specific, and measurable plans to address challenges in the U.S., particularly through job creation and investment.

About The Right Place, Inc.
The Right Place, Inc. is a regional non-profit economic development organization founded in 1985 and supported through investments from the private and public sector. Its mission is to promote economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and technology in West Michigan by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. For more information visit: http://www.rightplace.org

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