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Michigan's road to recovery

Ask any Michigander how bad things were just a few years ago. Auto companies were on the brink of collapse – and although the polls, the pundits and prominent Republicans like Mitt Romney advised against it, the President made the decision to step in and allow the companies to restructure. And we all know how that story has unfolded.

Since June 2009, Michigan has added more than 32,000 auto industry jobs, and the Center for Automotive Research estimates that the industry will add a total of 15,000 jobs in Michigan in 2012.

Factories that were slated to close have instead added shifts – and instead of shipping more jobs overseas, we have seen production come back to the United States. And while everyone – from companies to shareholders to workers – had to make sacrifices, the industry turned around. Workers got their jobs back. Families once again had the paychecks they needed to make ends meet.

But that only tells part of the story. The reality of the auto industry is much larger than stamping and assembly plants in our major cities. The auto industry supports more than 1 million jobs in Michigan – one out of every five jobs in the state – and this week, we’re going to take a look at companies and communities across our state that have seen their own fortunes rise as the industry has recovered.

From Detroit to Grand Rapids, and from Lansing to Traverse City and beyond, we will profile a different example of how Michigan communities are coming back. Be sure to stay tuned to your local news for stories from each stop – and you can check back here every day to see where we’ve been and where we’re going next.

But we also want to hear from you. We know there are thousands and thousands of stories of the ways that we have seen the turnaround of the auto industry in action – and we want to hear them. Click here to share yours.

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