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Detroit Drives Degrees Initiative to Focus on Educational Attainment

Recently, the Detroit Regional Chamber launched an expanded Detroit Drives Degrees initiative to catalyze higher education attainment. Over 30 education leaders, business executives and nonprofit partners in Southeast Michigan participated in the kickoff event at the Chamber on Dec. 7.

Recognizing the power of higher education in driving economic prosperity, the Chamber created Detroit Drives Degrees with the explicit goal of increasing post-secondary achievement to 60 percent at all levels, including advanced degrees and skilled trades certification, by 2025.

“Educational attainment and economic prosperity are inextricably linked,” said Greg Handel, the Chamber’s vice president for education and talent. “We are excited for the impact Detroit Drives Degrees can have on our region. Research indicates that just one percentage point increase in the portion of the population with a bachelor’s degree translates to an $850 increase in median per capita income.”

The event included presentations by John Austin, director of the Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas Foundation, and Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future Inc., who discussed the challenges and opportunities for boosting educational attainment statewide.

Austin, who recently published a higher education action plan for the state, underscored the significance of these efforts stating: “Nothing is more important to growing Michigan’s economy than helping all of our people get educated to the highest possible level.”

The Chamber’s work with Detroit Drives Degrees is supported through grant funding by the New Economy Initiative (NEI) and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). To get involved in this initiative or for more information, contact Kyle Peppin kpeppin@detroitchamber.com or Melanie D’Evelyn mdevelyn@detroitchamber.com.