Taiwanese Delegation Gets Up-Close Look at Detroit Region’s Innovation During NAIAS

Continuing to share the message of the automotive industry resurgence and a growing tech boom in the Detroit region, the Detroit Regional Chamber, along with the Michigan-China Innovation Center, hosted a delegation of 21 Taiwanese experts in the field of semiconductors and electronics as part of outreach efforts during the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Delegates heard an overview of the region’s assets from Justin Robinson, vice president of Business Attraction for the Chamber, as well as an overview of Michigan’s strategic leadership in automotive from Courtney Henderson, business development manager of the Michigan-China Innovation Center. Mark Heusel of Dickinson Wright offered insight on common legal questions regarding doing business in the United States. During a Q&A, delegates expressed interest in expanding into the Detroit and Michigan as a key market for growth among the Taiwanese semiconductor industry.

Destination Detroit, a key initiative of the Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy, is focused on attracting businesses from around the world to the Detroit region. The delegation visit is one of several events the Chamber participates in throughout the auto show to promote Detroit and Michigan’s story to a global audience.

Chamber Releases State of the Region and Forward Detroit Annual Reports

For the first time in over a decade, the Detroit region’s unemployment rate is on par with the national average at 4.6 percent. Private sector jobs also saw growth for the fourth straight year at 2 percent, outpacing the national average growth of 1.9 percent. Those were among the key findings released to more than 350 attendees Wednesday during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s State of the Region luncheon at Cobo Center.

Now in its fourth year, the State of the Region provides an economic overview, both successes and challenges, of the 11-county region and benchmarks it against national peer regions. The report provides an analysis of several key economic indicators including per capita income growth, unemployment, median home values, talent, innovation and foreign direct investment.

While the region continues to experience increased job growth, the report also found that there is still work to do in the areas of education and Detroit’s Community Well-Being Index, a new measurement this year. View the full report here.

In addition to the State of the Region, the Chamber also released its Forward Detroit Annual Report, which highlights the successes of the Chamber’s economic development initiatives including Detroit Drives Degrees, Detroit Promise, Destination Detroit, HealthForward, and MICHauto. Forward Detroit is the region’s premier economic development strategy to ensure Southeast Michigan is educated, employed and healthy to compete in the 21st global economy. The strategy is centered around five pillars – people, talent, community, global connectivity and next-generation mobility. View the full report here.

The Kresge Foundation Grants $450,000 to Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation to Improve College Readiness, Access and Success

The Kresge Foundation and the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation today announce new funding to launch a comprehensive plan and campaign to increase postsecondary education attainment in Southeast Michigan. The $450,000 grant from Kresge will urgently address a crisis, as part of the Chamber’s Forward Detroit regional economic development and competitiveness strategy.

Under the Chamber’s direction, the Detroit Drives Degrees Education Compact represents a collective commitment by leaders in education, business, philanthropy, government and the nonprofit community to address an ongoing barrier to economic development – the lack of residents without higher education credentials or college degrees compared to peer regions across the country. Increasing the number of students who remain enrolled and graduate from a college or university is a key focus of Detroit Drives Degrees, a program started by the Chamber in 2015 to increase college attendance and, ultimately, graduation.

According to Michigan’s Center for Educational Performance and Information, 73 percent of the region’s high school graduates enroll in college within 12 months of graduating but only 35 percent of those graduates earn a degree or credential within six years. The majority of high schools in the city of Detroit have graduating classes with less than 10 percent of students going on to earn a four-year credential, impacting the entire region.

“The Kresge Foundation’s grant allows the Chamber to both develop and implement a strategic blueprint to bolster postsecondary attainment throughout the region. Philanthropic partners like Kresge play a key role in helping us reach our goal of increasing individuals with postsecondary degrees from 43 to 60 percent by 2025,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Chamber.

“We want to help Detroit fulfill its workforce needs using its own homegrown talent,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation. “Detroiters are hungry for the opportunity to get to work, and this initiative will help ensure they’re equipped with the skills, education and credentials required to do just that. We know a postsecondary education is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to move into the economic mainstream, and we’re proud to partner with the Chamber to help more Detroiters and people from across the region get that education.”

The Detroit Drives Degrees Leadership Council, led by Co-chairs Daniel Little, chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Richard Rassel, chairman of Butzel Long, represent 35 cross-sectional leaders from the business, government and academic sectors throughout the region and will serve as signatories for the Compact.

During the next three years, the Chamber will work with the Leadership Council to designate regionwide improvement goals on key attainment metrics and will regularly track and publicize progress on these goals. The Detroit Drives Degrees Compact will address each stage of the talent development pipeline: college readiness, college access, college success and transition to the workforce.

The following will serve as key milestones in the development of the plan:

  • Publish an inaugural “State of Education” report to assess the Detroit region’s education ecosystem.
  • Develop and ratify benchmarks, which will form the basis of the Detroit Drives Degrees Compact. 
  • Cultivate public awareness and continued accountability for achieving the annual benchmarks through media, events and grassroots outreach.
  • Identify and implement key strategies to promote student success through the guidance of regional higher education institutions and other partner organizations.

Kresge’s support comes from its national Education Program and its Detroit Program.

Detroit Drives Degrees Kicks off Annual Challenge to Connect More Students with College Financial Aid

By Tiffany Jones

In an effort to put more of the $90 million in federal aid that went unclaimed in Michigan last year into the hands of students, Detroit Drives Degrees kicked off its second annual “Race to the FAFSA Line” Challenge, which promotes the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Challenge offers incentives to students, counselors and high schools to complete the form and runs through Feb. 28, 2018. Detroit Drives Degrees, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Forward Detroit strategy, works to strengthen the talent pipeline by increasing the number of adults with postsecondary degrees in the region.

The goal of the Challenge is to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to 65 percent. In its inaugural year, the Challenge and a variety of other efforts boosted the completion rate to 59 percent in 2016, up from 55.6 percent.

The National College Access Network states that high school graduates who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in college and by 2025, 70 percent of jobs will require a postsecondary credential.

In order to participate, high schools must register at DetroitDrivesDegrees.com. More than 85 schools participated in the 2016 competition. The school with the highest completion rate will win a senior all-night party, courtesy of Emagine Entertainment. Additional prizes from Emagine and the Detroit Pistons will be awarded to participating schools and student teams across the region.

The Challenge is sponsored by Chemical Bank, DTE Energy, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office, Independent Bank, Kerkstra Precast and University of Michigan-Dearborn. In addition to Emagine Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, other Challenge partners include: Detroit College Access Network, Frank FAFSA, Macomb Intermediate School District, Michigan College Access Network, Oakland Community College, Oakland Schools, University of Michigan, Wayne County Regional Education Service Agency, and numerous local college access networks.

Automotive Experts: In Mobility Race, Michigan’s Leadership Dependent on Talent Access

By Carlotta Gmachl

Michigan is well-positioned to lead in the mobility race but risks losing its foothold without access to a pipeline of highly skilled talent and a renewed effort to attract entrepreneurs. That was a key message that automotive and technology leaders outlined during a panel discussion at the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) Annual Conference last week in Holland.

Led by Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto, the panel “The Future of a Driverless Society” also included eLab Ventures’ Paul Brown, Warner Norcross & Judd’s Randall Peck, and InfiniteKey’s Kevin Virta.

Key takeaways include:

  • Talent remains the biggest challenge for startups in Michigan.
  • Most students are interested in joining big corporations and are overlooking their opportunity at a newly founded business. This is particularly true for engineers who are in high demand.
  • While Michigan excels in vehicle mass production, Silicon Valley is known for being strong in product development. Because of this, entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Michigan see the opportunity to cooperate.
  • Amongst the biggest obstacles for Michigan entrepreneurs is the lack of an established entrepreneur community.
  • Taking risks requires a strong backbone and a community that supports those risky decisions — something Michigan is lagging on.

Panelists also highlighted the importance of Michigan as an attractive state for startups, particularly when it comes to the convergence of technology and mobility. The overarching message of attracting talent reinforces the importance of key tenants of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy: increasing post-secondary degree attainment and increasing mobility-related projects.

“It is clear that Michigan has a challenge and an opportunity to continue to develop our mobility startup ecosystem and to continue to lead in next-generation mobility,” Stevens said.


Carlotta Gmachl is a Business Attraction and MICHauto coordinator at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Through Forward Detroit, More Than 900 Jobs, $179 Million Invested in Region During Past Year

Forward Detroit, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s economic development strategy, continues to play a key role impacting the Detroit region’s long-term growth by attracting major companies, increasing business investment and creating jobs.

From July 2016 through June 2017, the Chamber led the recruitment of 13 companies from across the globe to establish operations in the region. Executed in partnership with the Chamber’s coalition of regional economic development partners, these projects yielded a combined $179 million in capital investment and 957 new jobs, exceeding Forward Detroit’s annual goal.

Notable projects include:

In addition to the direct efforts of the Chamber, the regional economic development partnership of the 11 counties, city of Detroit, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy helped companies invest $4 billion in expansion and attraction projects and create 13,000 new jobs across the region in 2016.

“Economic development is a team sport. The investment and job creation we have seen over the past year is really a reflection of the dedicated work and collaboration of our public and private partners — organizations that are committed to the long-term growth of the Detroit region and ensuring the continued success of companies that choose to invest here,” said Justin Robinson, vice president of Business Attraction for the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The Chamber’s regional economic development partnership known as Destination Detroit includes: Genesee County, Lapeer County, Lenawee County, Livingston County, Macomb County, Monroe County, Oakland County, Shiawassee County, St. Clair County, Washtenaw County, Wayne County, the city of Detroit, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy. Destination Detroit is an initiative of Forward Detroit.

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

Economic Development Outreach Yields More Than 900 Jobs, $179 Million Invested in Region During Past Year

Forward Detroit, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s economic development strategy, continues to play a key role in impacting Southeast Michigan’s long-term growth by attracting major companies to the region. Together with its economic development partners, the Chamber helped attract 13 companies from July 2016 through June 2017. The projects yielded a combined $179.25 million in capital investment and 957 jobs.

Some notable projects include:

• ArcelorMittal’s investment of $83.5 million expansion into Detroit
• Fuyao Automotive’s $66.3 million investment in a new facility in Plymouth
• VDL Steelweld’s $3 million investment in a North American headquarters in Oakland County
• Thanasi Foods’ $2.8 million investment in a Macomb Township facility

The success of these projects positively reflects the Chamber’s ongoing collaboration with 11 county partners, the city of Detroit, city of Novi, city of Southfield, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy through Destination Detroit, an initiative of Forward Detroit. Together, these partners focus on promoting the region’s assets with one unified voice to national and international companies looking to expand in the U.S. market. This work is made possible through the strategic partnerships and contributions of Forward Detroit’s investors.

Learn more about Forward Detroit’s initiatives here.

Forward Detroit Quarterly Results

April–June 2017

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Forward Detroit strategy programs and initiatives reported the following results for the April to June 2017 quarter.

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction team worked with the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Oakland County and city of Troy to close a deal to bring the North American headquarters for Dutch automotive engineering service firm, VDL Steelweld to the region. The company leased a 50,000 square foot facility in Oakland County, investing $1.22 million in the region and adding 43 new jobs that pay an average of more than $100,000 annually.

Learn more about the Chamber’s Business Attraction efforts. 

 
MICHauto, an initiative of the Chamber, held a Legislative Supplier Fair and Reception and its annual Auto on the Island programming in May at the Mackinac Policy Conference. The fourth annual Supplier Fair and Reception connected more than a dozen suppliers with lawmakers to continue the discussion on the economic impact of suppliers across the state.

Continuing to bring the industry to the forefront of conversations, MICHauto hosted 35 industry CEOs on Mackinac Island for Auto on the Island. The challenges, opportunities, threats and weaknesses facing the automotive and mobility industry were discussed among the CEOs present as well as in a discussion with Gov. Rick Snyder and Mayor Mike Duggan. Automotive stakeholders also participated in an automotive roundtable discussion that focused on human capital in the digital age.

Learn more about MICHauto.

 In spring 2017, the Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) team launched two surveys to increase the Detroit region’s population by putting a greater focus on retaining existing residents and attracting new ones. The surveys resulted in 500 responses that will be used to further build out D3’s talent attraction and retention strategies.

To further communicate D3’s work in talent to a broader audience, Sarah Craft, program manager, sat on a panel for the Detroit Regional Relocation Council Quarterly Business Meeting, where she informed 50 national relocation professionals on Detroit’s assets and appeal. Additional panelists included: University Moving Storage’s Ben Cross; Center City Properties’ Michael Martorelli; Quicken Loans’ Dan Ngoyi; and Hall & Hunter’s Amy Zimmer.

At the May D3 Leadership Council meeting, the team brought together education experts from Cleveland to talk to the Council’s representatives in higher education, business, government, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector about a national model proven to improve student success. The goal of the discussion was to understand how Cleveland has successfully increased its educational attainment rate and how a similar model can be implemented in Detroit.

Learn more about Detroit Drives Degrees.

Read more about what the Forward Detroit initiatives accomplished:

Michigan’s Mobility Assets Key Topic of Netherlands Delegation Visit to Detroit

Detroit’s Tech, Automotive Leadership Takes Spotlight During Israel Mission Trip

MICHauto Roundtable: Technology Innovation Will Augment Workforce Transformation

Economic Impact of State’s Auto Suppliers Key Topic at Annual MICHauto Legislative Reception

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Awards $3.5 Million Grant to Detroit Promise to Help Students Pursue Higher Education

Detroit Drives Degrees Gleans Lessons from Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland to Increase Local Graduation Rates

Help Detroit Drives Degrees Attract and Retain Talent in Southeast Michigan

MICHauto Supports Student Entrepreneurs in Lear Open Innovation Challenge

Katelyn Davis Joins MICHauto and the Detroit Regional Chamber as Director

Katelyn Davis joins the Detroit Regional Chamber as director of MICHauto. In this role, she will support and lead planning and execution for MICHauto, as the statewide automotive and mobility industry association, and the organization’s growth as an integral part of Forward Detroit, the Chamber’s economic development initiative.

Davis’ seven-year career has been dedicated to Michigan’s automotive industry. Most recently she served as a corporate affairs and communications specialist with Yazaki North America, Inc., where she was responsible for the company’s internal and external communications and corporate marketing strategy and implementation. Prior to that, she worked for WPP’s GTB (formerly Team Detroit) on the communications team at Ford Motor Co.

“We are extremely pleased to have Katelyn join the MICHauto team. Her background and experience in the auto industry, combined with her expertise in marketing and communications, made the perfect match and will be critical to achieving our mission and goals,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto and vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives for the Chamber.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations from Grand Valley State University and completed graduate studies in new media communications at Wayne State University.

In addition, Davis is an acting board member for the Automotive Public Relations Council (APRC) and played an active role on MICHauto’s Awareness Committee.

She resides in Wyandotte, Michigan.

# # #

About MICHauto

MICHauto is a statewide initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber dedicated to promoting, retaining and growing the automotive industry in Michigan. MICHauto embodies a public-private strategy, championing Michigan as the global epicenter of the automotive industry and providing a platform for collaboration on advocacy, business attraction and retention, and talent attraction and development. Serving as the unified voice of Michigan’s automotive cluster, MICHauto works closely with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Original Equipment Suppliers Association, Center for Automotive Research and other Michigan and national organizations. To learn more visit MICHauto.org.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

Forward Detroit Quarterly Results

Quarterly Investor Results

Oct. to Dec. 2016 

Investor Blog_Business Attraction
The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction team assisted in closing six deals in the Detroit region, which created 254 jobs and brought in $103,750,254 of investment. Learn more about the Chamber’s Business Attraction efforts.

 

Investor Blog_D3
The Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) initiative introduce the Race to the FAFSA Line challenge for Southeast Michigan. Since the kickoff of this challenge in October, the D3 initiative trained 170 high school counselors on the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) completion and recruited 80 students leaders to encourage FAFSA completion in their schools. So far, 13,630 students in the region completed the FAFSA in that quarter. Learn more about the Detroit Drives Degrees.

Read more about what the Forward Detroit initiatives accomplished:

Taking a Data-Driven Approach to Increasing Graduation Rates for Low-Income, Minority Students

Detroit’s Next Opportunity: A Premier Destination for Health Care Innovation, Investment

Industrial Space, Talent Attraction Impacting Detroit’s Sustainable Growth

For Auto Industry, Attracting and Retaining Millennial Talent Requires an Inclusive Company Culture

 

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page. For more information on Business Attraction, contact Justin Robinson at 313.596.0352. For more information on Detroit Drives Degrees, contact Greg Handel at 313.596.0331.