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Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point to Attend White House Strategy Meeting for Detroit Business Development Efforts

DETROIT, February 8, 2012 – Members of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point program will visit the White House on Friday, Feb. 10, as part of a discussion on job creation and business growth with the Obama administration. The White House Business Council and Business Forward are hosting the leading voices from the Detroit region to discuss growing its economic development prospects.

“The White House has asked the Detroit business community to share its perspective on how to drive economic growth most effectively in the Motor City,” said Senior Vice President of Economic Development Benjamin Erulkar. “The Detroit Regional Chamber and its Connection Point program are pleased and ready to share our insight on how innovative Michigan companies add to the city’s recovery.”

The White House Business Council is hosting the meeting as part of its efforts over the last year to meet with business and civic leaders in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The efforts are intended to explore job creation and to ensure that local business leaders are aware of federal programs and resources that can help them succeed.

Erulkar, along with Connection Point Program Director Trevor Pawl, will represent the Chamber at the White House, providing insight on how the program has helped Michigan companies diversify across industries. This past year, for instance, Connection Point enabled Michigan suppliers to access $113.7 million in pre-qualified sourcing opportunities with the U.S. subsidiary of Deutz A.G. – the world’s largest independent diesel engine manufacturer. Connection Point also hosted a forum with NASA in December to help build research and development partnerships with Michigan companies.

“Michigan and Detroit have one of the world’s most competitive supply chain platforms for advanced manufacturing, both in product and process. Connection Point has opened important new markets for suppliers throughout the city and state, and we’re looking forward to building on that success,” said Erulkar, who served in the U.S. Department of Commerce as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development from 2005-2009.

While in Washington, the Connection Point team will also meet with private sector companies that might serve as prospective purchasers for Michigan businesses. Connection Point will also meet with the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Energy as well as NASA to explore greater partnership opportunities with the Detroit Regional Chamber.

About Connection Point

Connection Point links small to mid-size Michigan suppliers with large potential customers worldwide to develop new sales and strategic partnerships. As part of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s economic development portfolio, Connection Point provides Michigan-based businesses with opportunities to diversify their customer portfolios and create sustained economic growth. It is funded by a grant through the Economic Development Administration, which operates as part of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber 

With over 20,000 members and affiliates that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

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