by Rep. Roy Schmidt | Grand Rapids | April 10, 2009
The Press editorial "Don't pan movie law yet" is absolutely dead on. The jobs created by the film and entertainment business are entry level positions that are for the most part taking the place of industrial jobs we have lost. It is good work, provides re-training on-the-job and pays a livable wage.
In my district alone, we have seen a huge increase in the demand for stage and theatrical workers. Experienced hands are being sought which leaves a hole in our supply of loaders, stage hands and some skilled positions for shows and conventions at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place. Grand Rapids has made great progress in developing entertainment sectors and boasts of not only the Van Andel Arena but the Walker DeltaPlex and downtown's now famous Intersection. Plans are to build an amphitheater and expand the B.O.B. Other entertainment venues aren't far behind.
To cut short the growth in this industry would be shortsighted and have enormous implications as we all work so hard to get people back to work in Michigan. I will ask my House colleagues to vote no on this bill should it be introduced. Thanks to The Press for seeing and expressing this issue so clearly.