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Chamber Releases 2018-2019 State of the Region Report

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber released the fifth annual State of the Region report to more than 300 attendees at Ford Field. The report provides an economic overview of the Detroit region and where it stands compared to national peers. Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah delivered an overview of the report, emphasizing that the region continues to make tremendous progress in some key areas such as real gross domestic product and foreign direct investment. However, community well-being and educational attainment continue to lag peer regions.

Commons Theory
Exploring what regions need to be successful, Baruah shared the “Commons Theory,” which is commonly cited by Harvard Business School and represents a set of communal resources that allow businesses and people to be productive and thrive. Keynote speaker, Harvard Business School professor and author Willy C. Shih, elaborated on the theory referencing the region’s need to improve educational attainment.

Investing in Lifelong Learning
Investment in continuous education is one component of The Commons. Shih explained that after college-aged students enter the workforce, the amount of money spent (by the individual and their employer) on continued education drastically declines. As a result, the adults who grow out of having an employable skillset but still have another 10-15 years to contribute to the workforce are often displaced in an economy that is talent-hungry.

Shih concluded that it will take local educators, government leaders and businesses working together to retrain the workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The Chamber is actively engaged in improving education opportunities for adults through its Detroit Drives Degrees initiative.

Improving Detroit’s “Commons” 
Detroit Drives Degrees understands that for communities with aging workers and slowing population growth, expanding educational opportunities is essential to decrease human capital shortages. While Detroit continues its economic turnaround and reinvention, homegrown talent represents its greatest asset in growing the economy. By connecting potential workers to a pool of available jobs and removing barriers to continued education, the Chamber seeks to increase educational attainment to 60 percent by 2030.

Read more about the State of the Region presentation and keynote address, and download the 2018-2019 report.

A special thank you to the State of the Region sponsors including: Citizens Bank, Michigan Talent Investment Agency, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Comcast Business, Kelly Services and Walsh College.

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Harris at 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.