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Legislative Director from Michigan House of Representatives Meets with Finlandia Students

November 19, 2019

The relationship between government and business is not something that is always understood by the general public or even business people.  Chris Hatton, Legislative Director at the Michigan House of Representatives, recently spoke to FinnU business students about the importance of this relationship.  

The government assists business development in a number of ways. This includes providing grants to individual businesses, tax incentives, loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and more.

Hatton gave an example of a local manufacturer that has received a grant. This manufacturer received a sizable Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) that enabled them to purchase new equipment in order to diversify operations and remain competitive in their industry. 

CDBG is a federal grant program utilizing funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is administered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the business development arm of the State of Michigan. 

Many may not realize that most government infrastructure projects are actually carried out by private businesses. In addition, the government purchases billions of dollars of goods and services every year from the private sector. 

Hatton finished by emphasizing that there are career opportunities for business and non-business graduates in government-business relations. 

“There are also a number of positions in government that require a business or a related degree,” said Hatton.  “Communication skills are vital. Be willing to ask questions.”

Hatton also stressed the ability to research topic areas, perform an analysis, and make recommendations. 

Hatton finished his presentation by sharing some popular websites for government employment opportunities.

Chris Hatton is the legislative director for State Representative Greg Markkanen, and an adjunct professor at Finlandia. For more information on the MEDC go to https://www.michiganbusiness.org/

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