Michigan Struggles While Alabama Grows

Why is Michigan’s car industry struggling but Alabama’s is thriving? How is the “Yellowhammer State” successfully courting companies like Honda, Toyota Motor Corp. and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz?

Steve Sewell, executive vice president for the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, said availability of an educated work force is the top concern for such companies, but Alabama’s status as a right-to-work state is often touted. In right-to-work states, joining a union cannot be a condition of employment.

“Right-to-work can be an advantage if a company wants to have a direct relationship with its employees, without a third party,” he said.

The difference was profiled in the Detroit News.