Canadian Auto Innovation Summit Praises Bilateral Trade Relationship Between the U.S. and Canada, Explores Autonomous Vehicle Safety

“This bilateral region is in fact the epicenter of next-generation mobility and autonomous vehicle technology.”

That is the sentiment Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah conveyed to kick off the Canadian Auto Innovation Summit at Aloft Detroit on March 22.

According to Canadian Consul General Douglas George, the inaugural summit was meant to share the R&D and innovation emerging from Canada and the region.

“This event, much like the automotive industry in Canada and Michigan, is grounded in collaboration and partnerships,” George said. “Our economies are deeply connected and we know that this relationship has allowed both of our homes to thrive.”

Summit panels tackled everything from electrification and battery technology to autonomous/connected vehicle and artificial intelligence. In a panel on connected and autonomous vehicles moderated by MICHauto Executive Director Glenn Stevens, panelists focused on the recent death of a pedestrian during Uber’s autonomous vehicle test drive in Arizona. While all panelists agreed the tragedy warrants speculation from the public on the testing and safety of automated vehicles, each panelist agreed this is an opportunity to improve this technology and gain public trust.

“Uber needs to share the knowledge and what they learned so others can learn from their mistake,” said Nikolas Stewart, autonomous vehicle program manager for the University of Waterloo. “The information about safety measures and processes should be used to keep people educated on this technology. There is only so much that can be done in a lab and it’s imperative that AV testing is done where the unpredictable can happen.”

Panelists also included Ziad Kobti from the University of Windsor, Azzedine Boukerche from the University of Ottawa, and Eric Miller from the University of Toronto.

Stevens praised the diversity of industry components represented at the summit.

“We have to protect, retain and grow the industry across both borders,” Stevens said. “We like to think this is the greatest platform for diversity in technology.”

Business Leaders: Education Reform and Job Creation Will Help Michigan ‘Live Long and Prosper’

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah and Education Attainment Manager Melanie D’Evelyn spoke at the Michigan Solutions Summit on Thursday, March 22 to share insight on the Chamber’s ongoing efforts towards education reform, job creation, and talent retention in metro Detroit. The event was hosted by Business Leaders for Michigan and Bridge magazine.

The More You Learn the More You Earn
D’Evelyn outlined Detroit Drives Degrees’ plan to increase the percentage of postsecondary degrees in the metro Detroit region to 60 percent by 2030. Currently, about 40 percent of Detroiters hold a postsecondary degree.

“Detroit Drives Degrees’ goal is to create an education compact and collaborate with different sectors (nonprofits, higher education, philanthropy) toward reaching a common goal,” D’Evelyn said.. “We want the public to hold us accountable.”

The compact’s work has already begun. Wayne State University (WSU) Provost Keith Whitfield announced at the summit that the university is creating a program that allows adults who left college to re-enroll without paying back the full amount of educational debt they accumulated. The idea is that the university will absorb some of that debt to encourage adults to focus on completing their degrees.

Whitfield also announced that WSU is investing in academic advisors to help current students succeed and building partnerships to offer more paid internships to students. Both Whitfield and D’Evelyn are hoping that other universities will see the benefits of these innovations and create similar programs.

Regional Collaboration Will Drive Job Creation
After D’Evelyn’s discussion on educational reform, Baruah, along with Dave Egner, President and CEO of the Ralph Wilson Foundation, and Kim Trent, Wayne State University Board of Directors sat on a panel to discuss how job creation and talent retention fit into the regional improvement puzzle.

Baruah addressed several roadblocks that currently hinder business growth and investment in the region that would, in turn, produce prosperous jobs to retain educated Michiganders. One such roadblock is a lack of connected, reliable regional transit.

“What is preventing regional transit? Essentially, two things: one, change is an issue of culture. People in Michigan love cars and grew up in the auto culture, and they don’t want that to change,” Baruah said. “And the second big issue is a lingering sense of distrust between Detroiters and suburbanites. People don’t want to pay higher taxes for a system they don’t think they’ll use.”

Aside from transit, the lack of qualified talent was another issue Baruah cited as preventing Detroit from attracting new business. He emphasized the region’s need to invest in talent, encourage people to go into the skilled trades, and repurpose money used to incarcerate non-violent criminals to reintroduce these individuals into Michigan’s workforce.

Both D’Evelyn and Baruah emphasized that collaboration between the public and private sectors is what will drive education reform, job creation and talent retention for the state and region. By working together, Detroiters can create a region where everyone can prosper.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education to Deliver Keynote Address at 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference

John King Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Education and president and CEO of The Education Trust, will deliver a keynote address on Thursday, May 31 at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference. King, a lifelong educator and administrator, will discuss the Conference pillar Is Michigan Prepared? He will share his experiences advancing excellence for every student, supporting educators, and improving college affordability and completion rates.

During his service under President Obama’s administration, King oversaw all education policies for preschool through 12th grade. He focused on closing the achievement gap and leading cross-agency collaboration for President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” task force.

Before his tenure in the White House, King served as the education commissioner for the state of New York, overseeing 3.1 million students at the elementary and secondary school level. Under his leadership, New York invested in high-quality early learning, developed innovative educator career ladder models, and increased educational opportunities for low-income communities.

Tim Smith Named #1 Mortgage Loan Originator in Michigan, #40 in the Nation

Marcy Lindhout, Director of Mortgage Lending for Chemical Bank, is pleased to announce that Tim Smith, Vice President, Mortgage Loan Officer, has been named #1 Mortgage Loan Originator in Michigan and #40 in the United States by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

“I’m very excited that Tim has received such a respected honor by Mortgage Executive Magazine,” stated Lindhout. “Tim is a highly regarded mortgage professional and we are thrilled to have him as a member of the Chemical Bank team. Tim knows what it takes to deliver best-in-class customer service to everyone he interacts with. This ability, along with his extensive knowledge, persistent and passion, is why he is the #1 mortgage sales professional in Michigan!”

As Vice President, Mortgage Loan Officer, Smith is responsible for originating home mortgages and home construction loans in the Southeast Michigan market. Smith has been recognized in the top 200 Mortgage Loan Originators in America for the past eight years and the Scotsman Guide Top Originators in America for the past ten years.

Smith is a member of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association, Greater Metropolitan Board of Realtors, Women’s Council of Realtors – Birmingham-Bloomfield Chapter, Home Builders Association of Michigan, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Team in Training.

Chemical Financial Corporation is the largest banking company headquartered and operating branch offices in Michigan.  The Corporation operates through its subsidiary bank, Chemical Bank, with 212 banking offices located primarily in Michigan, northeast Ohio and northern Indiana.  At December 31, 2017, the Corporation had total assets of $19.28 billion.  Chemical Financial Corporation’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CHFC and is one of the issuers comprising the NASDAQ Global Select Market and the S&P MidCap 400 Index.  Member FDIC.  Equal Housing Lender.

Great Lakes Metro Chambers Push for Action on Infrastructure, Immigration and Trade

The Detroit Regional Chamber and the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition met with members of Congress and their staff during a two-day fly-in to Washington, D.C. last week to discuss several recently proposed policies that will affect business in the Great Lakes region.

During the visit, the Coalition met with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN 6), and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), among others. This visit primarily centered around advancing three of the Coalition’s top policy priorities: the development of a robust, nationwide infrastructure plan; increasing high-skilled immigration; and supporting the preservation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Coalition members spent much of their time discussing President Trump’s recently proposed infrastructure, immigration and trade policies. The infrastructure policy allocates $1.5 trillion in investment that was proposed in February. The Coalition supports developing comprehensive infrastructure legislation and increased federal funding for key projects, including an upgrade to the Soo Locks.

Regarding immigration, the Coalition continues to support high-skilled immigration. Data shows that immigrants bring the talent, labor, and spending power needed to help grow the Great Lakes’ economy. According to a New American Economy report, in the Great Lakes region alone, immigrants account for half of the population growth over the last 15 years and drove almost two-thirds of the region’s working-age population growth in the same amount of time.

Finally, the Coalition met with representatives to discuss the preservation of NAFTA. Modernization is necessary to improve trade between the United States and its allies, but pulling the United States from NAFTA would be catastrophic for businesses across the Great Lakes region that rely on restrictive-free trade with Canada and Mexico.

The Coalition will continue to engage the administration on improving infrastructure, immigration and trade regulations to help grow the region’s economy.

For more information on the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, visit http://greatlakesmetrochambers.com.

Michigan’s riding high. But a downturn is coming and the safety net is frayed.

Bridge Michigan

March 21, 2018

By: Mike Wilkinson

Michigan is enjoying an economic renaissance, but leaders aren’t doing enough now to address systematic problems with poverty, inequality and education.

That was the conclusion of a group of philanthropic, business and education leaders who gathered in Detroit on Thursday to discuss the state’s opportunities and challenges at The Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine’s Solutions Summit on Personal Property.

One big problem: The state’s safety net remains frayed, and too many residents aren’t participating in the recovery because of unsolved problems in education, workforce development and transit, officials said. The state should invest in solutions now, they said.

“This is the time to do it,” said Dan Varner, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit.

Many continue to struggle despite the lowest unemployment rates in 17 years and an economy that has put hundreds of thousands back to work, said Nancy Lindman, director of public policy and partnerships for the Michigan Association of United Ways.

She said 40 percent of Michigan families cannot meet basic needs, most of whom arethe working poor.

“We are talking about people who are working who aren’t able to support their families,” Lindman said.

Varner, Lindman and other experts at the summit said the state should help more residents by:

  • Increasing access to  post-secondary training, be it a college degree or a skilled trade. Forty-three percent of Metro Detroiters now have post-secondary credentials; a group organized by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce wants to push that to 60 percent by 2030.
  • Improving transit so more residents have access to jobs and education. Recent disputes about paying to expand transit in southeast Michigan are “myopic” and harmful to the region, said David Egner, president and CEO of the Ralph Wilson Jr. Foundation.
  • Fortifying state aid for child-care and food assistance. Michigan pays little to help working poor with child care costs. (Only Kentucky makes it harder to get state-sponsored child care.to school or work through better transit.) And legislators are now talking about work requirements for Medicaid.

“The erosion of the safety net is real,” said Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Most of the problems identified could be solved, in part, by greater investment (read: higher taxes). But in a state where politicians routinely talk about cutting them, the idea of increasing revenue is a tough sell.

Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, said his and other pro-business groups have been torn lately by the climate in Lansing: They want investment in education, infrastructure and other areas that will cost money.

But pro-business groups also want the state to remain business friendly, and a bump in taxes could imperil the benefits – for businesses at least – of the 2011 tax reform package that slashed $2 billion in taxes from businesses.

That tension remains today: The state needs more money to accomplish important tasks. But where does that money come from? From businesses? From residents who have seen incomes erode?

“I don’t know anyone who knows the answer,” Baruah said.

Despite the urgency, there are plenty of hopeful signs, experts said, including increased regional cooperation.

Students at Wayne State University are getting more help with internships; the city schools are opening their vocational facilities for after-hours classes for adults.

And Baruah pointed out that Detroit, even with the problems in the neighborhoods, is being transformed.

“It’s just getting vibrant and feels like some of the cities I grew up in, Portland and DC,” Baruah said.

Kim Trent, a native and former Detroit journalist who’s now a member of the Wayne State Board of Governors, sees it too.

“You’re seeing an interest in the city that honestly you haven’t seen in my memory,” she said.

But, as a resident with family living far from downtown, she said she’s also aware that not everyone in the city has enjoyed the recovery.

 

View the original post from Bridge Michigan on their website.

Rochester College to offer scholarships through Detroit Promise program

Oakland Press

March 23, 2018

By: Andrea Peck

Rochester College will partner with Detroit Promise to offer scholarships to qualified Detroit-resident students graduating from a high school in the city of Detroit.

The partnership will begin in spring of 2018. For its first year involved in the program, Rochester College is a limited partner, which limits the total number of students whom they can support through Detroit Promise funding.

“We want all students to be able to pursue a postsecondary education if that is what they want to do,” Dr. Brian Stogner, president of Rochester College, said in a statement. “Getting an education should not be only for the privileged few, but a choice available to students regardless of their financial capabilities. We are honored to partner with Detroit Promise, which is helping to make dreams a reality for so many students, and encouraging them to go after their passions.”

To qualify for the four-year university track, students must:

• Attend all four years and graduate from any Detroit high school

• Reside in Detroit for all four years of high school

• Obtain a 3.0 cumulative GPA as of Feb. 15 in their senior year

• Earn a score of at least 21 on the ACT or at least 1060 on the SAT

If the student meets these qualifications they can apply to the Detroit Promise program and apply to any of the participating four-year universities.

To remain eligible for funding, students must maintain a minimum 2.5 overall GPA, remain on track to complete a degree within four years and be enrolled as a full-time student successfully passing and completing at least 24 credits per school year (12 credits per semester).

In 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder announced a plan to provide Detroit high school graduates with a tuition-free path to an associate degree or technical certificate. In 2013, the Detroit Regional Chamber administered the Detroit Promise, which is funded through the Michigan Excellence in Education Foundation and university partners. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan enacted the Detroit Promise Zone authority in 2016, which dedicates a portion of tax dollars to assist in funding the scholarships. The program ensures that any Detroit-resident student graduating in the city of Detroit will have a tuition-free path to an associate, technical certificate or bachelor’s degree at participating community colleges and four-year universities.

For more information on Rochester College, visit rc.edu. For more information on Detroit Promise, visit detroitchamber.com.

Detroit partners with Rochester College for free tuition through Detroit Promise program

WDIV – Local 4

March 21, 2018

By: Dane Sager Kelly

Rochester College has entered into a partnership with Detroit Promise, offering scholarships to qualified students graduating from Detroit high schools.

The program is a push for students to pursue postsecondary education. For its first year involved in the program, Rochester College is a limited partner, which limits the total number of students whom it can support through Detroit Promise funding.

“Getting an education should not be only for the privileged few, but a choice available to students regardless of their financial capabilities,” Dr. Brian Stogner, president of Rochester College, said. “We are honored to partner with Detroit Promise, which is helping to make dreams a reality for so many students, and encouraging them to go after their passions.”

To qualify for the four-year university scholarship, students must have attended all four years and graduate from any Detroit high school, reside in Detroit for all four years of high school, obtain a 3.0 cumulative GPA as of Feb. 15 in their senior year and earn a score of at least 21 on the ACT or at least 1060 on the SAT.

If the student meets these qualifications, he or she can apply to the Detroit Promise program, subsequently applying to any of the participating four-year universities.

For more information on Detroit Promise, visit its official website.

You can view the original post on WDIV’s website.

Rochester College Partners with City of Detroit Through Detroit Promise Program

March 21, 2018

Rochester College

Rochester College offering scholarships to qualified students graduating from City of Detroit high schools

Rochester Hills, Mich., March 21, 2018 – In an effort to provide more students with the opportunity to advance their learning, Rochester College has entered into a partnership with Detroit Promise, offering scholarships to qualified Detroit-resident students graduating from a high school in the city of Detroit, beginning spring of 2018.

“We want all students to be able to pursue a postsecondary education if that is what they want to do,” said Dr. Brian Stogner, president of Rochester College. “Getting an education should not be only for the privileged few, but a choice available to students regardless of their financial capabilities. We are honored to partner with Detroit Promise, which is helping to make dreams a reality for so many students, and encouraging them to go after their passions.”

For its first year involved in the program, Rochester College is a limited partner, which limits the total number of students whom they can support through Detroit Promise funding.
To qualify for the four-year university track, students must:

  • Attend all four years and graduate from any Detroit high school
  • Reside in Detroit for all four years of high school
  • Obtain a 3.0 cumulative GPA as of Feb. 15 in their senior year
  • Earn a score of at least 21 on the ACT or at least 1060 on the SAT (some institutions require a 1070 or 1080 score)

If the student meets these qualifications they can apply to the Detroit Promise program, subsequently applying to any of the participating four-year universities.

“We are honored to have Rochester College on board to participate in this true collaboration among the state, the city and our university and philanthropic partners,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of Detroit Regional Chamber. “These partnerships allow for all Detroiters to attend college tuition-free, no matter their economic status.”

To remain eligible for funding, students must maintain a minimum 2.5 overall GPA, remain on track to complete a degree within four years, and be enrolled as a full-time student successfully passing and completing at least 24 credits per school year (12 credits per semester).

In 2011, Governor Rick Snyder announced his intention to provide Detroit high school graduates with a tuition-free path to an associate degree or technical certificate. Since 2013, the Detroit Regional Chamber has administered the Detroit Promise, which is funded by the Michigan Excellence in Education Foundation and university partners to fulfill the Governor’s pledge. In 2016, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan enacted the Detroit Promise Zone authority, which dedicates a portion of tax dollars to assist in funding the scholarships. Through this funding, the program ensures that any Detroit-resident student graduating in the city of Detroit will have a tuition-free path to an associate, technical certificate or bachelor’s degree at participating community colleges and four-year universities.

For more information on Detroit Promise please visit: http://www.detroitchamber.com/econdev/education-and-talent/detroit-promise/.

 

You can view the original post from Rochester College on their website.

Lorron James

Lorron James is CEO of James Group International. He previously served as the company’s marketing and sales manager as well as the director of supply chain management and vice president of business development. Prior to that, he served as Community Affairs Coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

James’ community involvement includes serving as trustee on the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Board. He also serves on the Youth of the Year Selection Committee for the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan and the Founders Junior Council for the Detroit Institute of Arts. James is a part of Riviera XXVIII, which is an extension of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and also serves on the Conservancy Board. He was appointed to the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority Board by Mayor Mike Duggan and serves as chairman.