Grand Rapids Press: Sen. Gary Peters tours GVSU's engineering college, says 'innovation' is future of Michigan's economy

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - It was billed as his economic listening tour, and there was plenty for U.S. Sen. Gary Peters to hear Tuesday as he made his way through Grand Valley State University's College of Engineering.

Peters, led by GVSU President Thomas Haas, visited classrooms and watched students tinker on machines and computers. He listened as Haas described the growth in the college's student body, the university's geographic footprint and numerous partnerships with local employers.

Peters, a first-term Democrat, said he was pleased to learn that lots of GVSU's engineering graduates stay in Michigan, boosting the number of skilled, educated workers in the state.

"It's very exciting to see an institution that not only is turning out world class engineers, but is turning out engineers that our choosing to stay in Michigan," Peters said.

Peters is spending this week in Michigan, touring universities, visiting businesses and speaking with workers to hear how he can best represent their interests in Washington as he seeks to strengthen the state's economy.

After he finished touring GVSU's engineering building, he said "innovation" is the future of Michigan, and that the state needs to be at the forefront of "innovating the next generation of products."

"In order to do that, you need highly trained engineering professionals and we need to be supporting those institutions that have the innovative programs and are offering that training to their students," he said.

By:  Brain McVicar
Source: Grand Rapids Press