• Detroit Mayor Bing, Other Michigan Leaders Attend White House Jobs Summit

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    / The Detroit News

    Washington — Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and other Michigan leaders will take part in today’s White House jobs summit aimed at reducing the nation’s stubbornly high double-digit unemployment rate.

    In addition to Bing, Stephanie Burns, chairwoman and CEO of Dow Corning and Andrew Liveris, chairman, president, and CEO of Midland-based Dow Chemical are attending the event, the White House said. Among the other business leaders attending is Noel Cuellar, principal at Michigan-based Primera Plastics.

    Michigan’s unemployment — the highest in the nation — dropped slightly to 15.1 percent in October. The national unemployment rate is at 10.2 percent. Detroit’s unemployment is nearly 30 percent.

    The White House said Susan Collins, dean of the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, and Ken Rogers, executive director of Automation Alley, are taking part.

    “The technology community is facing unique challenges with an immediate concern being the critical credit gap facing emerging technology companies,” said Rogers, who heads the southeast Michigan-based global technology consortium that has about 600 members.

    “We must find solutions to free capital to support the growth in small businesses that will lead the nation to economic recovery,” he said.

    The White House has made job creation a big focus, in the face of sharp criticism over the number of jobs reportedly created by the $787 billion stimulus bill.

    Michigan companies have benefited from federal aid aimed at creating new jobs and received more than half of $2.4 billion in battery and electric vehicle infrastructure grants awarded in August.

    The administration also has invested $80 billion in the auto industry bailout and provided $5.9 billion in retooling loans to Ford Motor Co. to convert factories into building more fuel-efficient models.

    General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC also have sought similar federal retooling loans.

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