GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan’s governor and lieutenant governor say the state made good progress in economic growth and education this year thanks to bipartisan efforts. 

“We went through a full calendar year of great economic development wins,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said when asked about what went right over the past year. “That’s jobs, that’s landing investment in Michigan for the future of our economy, creating opportunity for every person to be prosperous in this state.”

The governor said the state has become a better place for investment.

“We have totally turned the narrative that we were too slow and Lansing was too divisive, we didn’t compete with other states,” Whitmer said. “We are now changing that whole persona and getting investment. I think that was something that really was a bipartisan effort, it was an effort with stake holders, this has been a state-wide benefit to all of us.”

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said investments into education will also help grow the economy.

“The thing that sticks out to me — on top of the economic development — is the bipartisan consensus on record education spending, especially for K-12 education and expanding access to childcare. That expanded childcare access means that more people can fully participate in the economy,” Gilchrist said.

The education budget passed this year had the state’s highest ever per-pupil funding.

Gilchrist also said the education spending is “positioning our young people to be able to benefit and drive this economy that we’re growing.”

He also pointed to the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship and the Michigan Reconnect Program.

“I’m proud that the legislator has worked with us on a bipartisan basis to be able to deliver these key education and skills investments for the state of Michigan this year,” Gilchrist said.

Whitmer also said the state is making progress on having enough qualified workers to attract new businesses, pointing to the new electric vehicle battery plant coming to the Big Rapids area, which will create thousands of jobs.