Governors Midwest Initiatives Events

Inititiatives - Chair's Agenda


Chair's Agenda
America's Smartland Discussion Series


Economic Development


Renewing the Midwestern Brand







2017 - Wisconsin Governor

Scott Walker's Agenda

2016 - Kansas Governor

Sam Brownback's Agenda

2015 - Kansas Governor

Sam Brownback's Agenda

2014 - Wisonsin Governor

Scott Walker's Agenda

2013 - Minnesota Governor

Mark Dayton's Agenda


All MGA Past Chairs


2018 - Ohio Governor John Kasich's Agenda


The Smartland: Prepared, Agile and Empowered for the Future

Workforce, Infrastructure, Energy and Life

Technology’s profound and transformative impact on our society and workforce will not cease. In fact, its impact is increasing at such a rapid pace today that we can expect it to soon reach critical mass in the form of a disruption that will soon create jobs currently unimaginable. Ultimately, this disruption will lead to increased productivity and prosperity, but adjusting to it will require our region to retain and recruit the brightest minds and hardest workers, as well as leverage existing strengths in new ways.

To be prepared, Midwestern states must be on the forefront of anticipating change. The chair’s agenda will explore this challenge by looking at how education and training intersects with our region’s strengths in infrastructure, advanced technology, automation and energy, to allow the Midwest to be a premier location for success far into the future. 

  • Education and Workforce Development: How can we ensure that our workforce has the skills to be viable in the future? We can no longer expect our existing education systems, with their focus on two- and four-year degrees and often change-averse nature, to adequately prepare us. We must respond to employers’ demands for specific skills by developing new approaches focused on credentials, competencies, assessments, and certificates—all supported by better advising, mentoring, counseling and apprenticing.
  • Existing Regional Competitive Advantages: In addition to our workforce, the Midwest enjoys strengths on which we can build to ensure the region’s success. How can they be reimagined, improved and positioned for future attractiveness to job creators?
    • Infrastructure: The Midwest already enjoys a transportation and digital infrastructure that can handle a growing economy of the future. With robust information technology networks, a high-quality and highly-interconnected highway system, major rivers, sophisticated ports with ocean access and international passenger and freight airports, the Midwest has the ability to efficiently move data, raw materials and finished goods to any point on the globe.  How do we keep these assets competitive and reboot them for the coming wave of change?
  • Energy: The Midwest is home to a diverse energy portfolio that includes conventional energy sources like oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids and coal, as well as renewables like wind, solar, and storage.  With an increasingly automated economy that will require a large amount of energy, how can the Midwest maximize these resources to meet this need?
  • Quality of Life: The Midwest offers a quality of life that is the envy of much of America and the world.  With thriving international cities, rural areas and pristine natural beauty—all accessible at a cost-of-living far below the coasts or global metro areas, the Midwest can be a desirable destination for an economy in which “where you are” has increasingly less relevance to what you accomplish.  How do we best leverage our high quality of life to retain, attract and grow the industries and companies of the future?

For more information about the activities of the Chair's Agenda, please vist our Agile Workforce webapage.

If your organization is interested in participating as a sponsor of this effort and meeting, please contact the via email.