Dr. Robert Townsend built a Practice from Scratch to 10 offices in just 6 years
and provided jobs and access to healthcare while doing it. He sought out underserved markets and services and provided them to the people that needed them, building a good business in the process.
Michigan has a large pool of skilled workers and professionals that are being underutilized- in part due to a change from manufacturing to service oriented jobs. We need to find ways to get back to building things rather than talking about things. Our industrial base needs to be repurposed- if our auto plants aren’t building cars, let’s build wind turbines (hypothetically) in those factories and sell them on a world wide market. We need to find ways to tap into our natural and human resources to make the state the economic powerhouse we once were.
To do this we must work on infrastructure, using Michigan workers to rebuild our roads, bridges, power and utility systems, and our internet connections. We need to make the industrial arts as exciting as becoming a marketer or medical assistant. We need to go beyond the standard ‘college bound’ or ‘trade school’ mentality and add an ‘Entrepreneur’ tract to teach people the business skills needed to develop and run their own companies.
Small Business Economy
Small Business is the backbone of the Michigan’s Economy. We need to give them the tools to succeed. They need internet connections, financial planning, technical assistance, access to labor and markets. Much as we discussed the ‘teacher of excellence’ making tapes of lectures for high school students, why don’t we open that up to an economic professor at Michigan State to give a presentation on developing a business plan, or an annual update on tax law for small businesses from a Cooley Law professor? Let’s set our business up to succeed.
Economic development starts with funding. Dr. Townsend lost a business once because a critical piece of equipment broke, and he could not get a $4000 business loan to replace it. That one piece of equipment provided 1/3 the monthly budget of the office. Without it, the business failed and people lost their jobs, including Dr. Townsend. We give student loans as an investment in the future, we should work to develop a similar program for small business, as an investment in the future as well.
Dr. Robert Townsend Supports the CTE Millage