Industry Experts: Latest Proposed Changes to NAFTA Are Red Flag for Automotive Supply Chain

As the fourth round of negotiations between Canada, the United States and Mexico surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) conclude, the Detroit Regional Chamber, along with MICHauto and the Consulate General of Canada, hosted members of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association for an informative discussion on NAFTA’s potential impact on trade and economic growth for the U.S. and Canadian economies.

Anne Cascadden, trade commissioner for the Consulate General of Canada, said two of the biggest sticking points that are hindering negotiation efforts between the three countries revolve around the United States’ proposal that requires:

  • Any new agreement would sunset after five years and must be renegotiated
  • Rules of origin for automobiles would include 85 percent NAFTA-country product, up from 62.5 percent now, and 50 percent U.S.-made product in order to be exempt from tariffs

Cascadden said the U.S. proposal would greatly impact NAFTA supply chains. Specifically, steel, aluminum, copper, plastics, electronics, and other parts currently exempt would be required to come from North America for vehicles to qualify under rules of origin.

Other discussion participants included Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs for the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association; Xavier Mosquet, senior partner for The Boston Consulting Group; and Christopher Sands, senior research professor and director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

In welcoming remarks, Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah said that Canada and Mexico are more in-tune with the economic ramifications of the United States’ potential withdrawal from the trade agreement, adding that any new agreement must first “do no harm” to the countries’ existing trade relationship. While not perfect, Baruah said NAFTA has been a major factor in North America’s competitiveness with the European Union.

Baruah has been a key voice regarding the NAFTA renegotiation and remains highly sought after for his expertise and insight at discussions in Michigan and Canada based on his current role at the Chamber and his past work in Washington, D.C.

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.

Chamber CEO Joins Roundtable Discussion on WDIV-4’s Flashpoint to Talk All Things Amazon

On Sunday, Sept. 25, WDIV-4’s Flashpoint centered its entire show on “The Amazon Chase.” Detroit Regional Chamber CEO and President Sandy Baruah joined Rock Ventures Principal Matt Cullen, Regional Transit Authority Interim CEO Tiffany Gunter, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Flashpoint host Devin Scillian to discuss how and why the Detroit region is a strong contender to be home to Amazon’s second headquarters.

The panel highlighted all the tremendous positives that the region has going in its favor – space, quality of life and the energy of a vibrant urban core, to name a few – all of which will be key factors for Amazon. “Detroit is an exciting place. It’s the comeback city. It’s the place of opportunity,” said Cullen.

Regional transportation and the need to attract and retain talent in the state was also discussed. In terms of the failed RTA ballot initiative, Gunter acknowledged that the ball has moved down the field in terms of progress around regional transportation. She added that plans are already underway on how RTA would tweak the next campaign. “Our region is ready for a change,” she said.

The roundtable panelists all agreed that under the leadership of Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert, the region would prepare and present a world-class proposal. “This is a great exercise in how much progress this region has made working collaboratively,” said Baruah. “I feel really good about where we are and how we’re doing this.”

The second segment of the program focused on how the proposal should look and featured Ignition Media Group Founder and CEO Dennis Archer Jr., Crain’s Detroit Business reporter Kirk Pinho and Detroit Creative Corridor Center Executive Director Olga Stella.

View the original article here.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Appoints Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah to Detroit Branch Board of Directors

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago announced the appointment of Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah to its Detroit branch board of directors, effective immediately. The term will expire December 31, 2017 and be followed by an additional three-year term from 2018 – 2020.

The Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. appoints three of the Detroit Branch directors, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Board of Directors appoints four additional Branch directors.

As a Detroit Branch director, Baruah will contribute to the formulation of national monetary policy, provide economic information to help inform the Board of Governors in Washington and act as a link between the Federal Reserve and the private sector.

The Detroit Board of Directors is made up of seven business leaders from across the Detroit region, including Detroit Regional Chamber board members Wright Lassiter III of Henry Ford Health System and Sandra Pierce of Huntington National Bank. Other directors include Chair Michael Seneski of Ford Motor Co., Joseph Anderson Jr. of TAG Holdings LLC, Linda Hubbard of Carhartt Inc. and Rip Rapson of The Kresge Foundation.

Baruah joined the Chamber in 2010. Prior to the Chamber, Baruah served President George W. Bush as administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

In 2016, Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Baruah as chair of Michigan’s 21st Century Economy Commission.

Baruah also serves on the boards of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, Automotive Hall of Fame, and Detroit Economic Club. He is a contributor to Harvard Business School’s U.S. Competitiveness Project, a Leadership Circle member of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, and chairs the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition. He is a former Advisory Board Member of Spain’s Institute of Competitiveness.


About the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the nation’s central bank. The Chicago Reserve Bank serves the Seventh Federal Reserve District, which encompasses the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, southern Wisconsin, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and the state of Iowa.  In addition to participation in the formulation of monetary policy, each Reserve Bank supervises member banks and bank holding companies, provides financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. government, and monitors economic conditions in its district.

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.

Positioning the Detroit Region as the Future Home of Amazon’s HQ2

With Detroit’s revitalization fresh on the minds of the business community, there is no better time to leverage the region’s world-class talent, assets and resources to attract leading global companies. With Amazon’s recent announcement to build a second headquarters, the Detroit Regional Chamber is doing just that.

A Collaborative Effort

As reported in the Detroit Free Press, the Chamber, along with the city of Detroit and the Michigan Economic Development Corp., is leading a broad coalition of business and government leaders to establish a proposal to make the case for Amazon’s expansion to the Detroit region. Through its best-in-class economic development expertise, the Chamber is well-suited to lead this effort.

From its annual State of the Region report to its automotive and mobility asset map and interactive Data Center, regional and statewide economic development partners often look to the Chamber to provide key information to site selectors and businesses interested in the Southeast Michigan market. Collectively, these assets provide an impactful tool for business attraction.

Read the latest stats and data presented by Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah to justify Detroit’s position as a contender for Amazon’s HQ2 in a letter to the editor published in Crain’s Detroit Business.


MORE: Read the latest stats and facts about how Michigan is positioned to lead the world in next-generation mobility.


Well-Positioned to Compete

Key to the coalition’s success in positioning Southeast Michigan as an ideal location for Amazon’s HQ2 will be meeting Amazon’s preferences and decision drivers as laid out in the request for proposal – namely real estate availability, incentives and a strong labor force.

  • According to the Chamber’s 2017 State of the Region, Detroit has availability of industrial and commercial real estate across the region.
  • Michigan’s business-friendly climate bodes well for economic incentives, from the recently passed “Good Jobs for Michigan” legislation, to the MI Thrive collection of bills incentivizing the redevelopment of transformational brownfields projects.
  • Detroit’s rich labor pool exceeds 2.5 million individuals, larger than 28 other states.
  • It is one of the fastest growing technology regions, leading peer regions in STEM occupation job growth at more than 18 percent since 2010.
  • The Detroit Metropolitan Airport is a world-class facility, recently being ranked No. 1 in business travel.
  • Detroit is an international gateway to business around the world. The region is one of the strongest export markets in the nation, especially with its ideal proximity to the Canadian market.

These are just a few of the ways the Detroit region is a standout contender for Amazon’s headquarters project.

The Chamber will continue to be the voice of business and will monitor the developments.

Chamber President: Globalization Vital to Business but More Work Needed to Protect Growing Middle Class

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah joined a panel of world leaders to discuss the impact of globalization and economic inequality during the 2017 International Economic Forum of the Americas in June in Montreal. The panel included: Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Rebeca Grynspan, secretary-general of Ibero-American Secretariat; and Rifat Hisarcıklıoǧlu, president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey. Panelists shared insight on how to preserve the benefits of open economies worldwide while still promoting a healthy middle class. Panelists also discussed the importance of collaborative policies and institutions that support individuals who aspire to become part of the middle class.

Watch the session here.

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

By Tiffany Jones

The Detroit Regional Chamber joined Gov. Rick Snyder and Mayor Mike Duggan to announce a $3.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in support of the Detroit Promise, a last-dollar scholarship program administered by the Chamber Foundation.

The grant will support thousands of Detroit high school graduates with tuition and services as they pursue a college education at participating institutions over the next three years. The grant is part of a $30 million campaign led by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF), which seeks to shepherd the program through a critical time of transition and development. The grant will support the two-year and four-year scholarship program to meet anticipated growth. It also will support efforts to enhance retention rates so that more students successfully obtain degrees and certificates.

Under the leadership of the governor, MEEF has raised nearly $10 million in seed money to initiate the scholarship program, established in 2013, formerly known as the Detroit Scholarship Fund. The grant will ensure that the scholarship and supportive programs are fully developed and available to Detroit youth as public funding becomes available during the next couple of years under the Detroit Promise Zone, a tax capture program initiated by the mayor.


RELATED: TRILLIUM ACADEMY SENIORS HEAR CAREER LESSONS FROM CHAMBER MILLENNIALS 


“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation investment will assure that more Detroit youth will enter college and successfully earn postsecondary degrees,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Thousands of young Detroit residents will be better prepared for and able to succeed in the 21st century global economy.”

The announcement attracted media from major local outlets including Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, WWJ and WXYZ-TV7.

Tiffany Jones is the director of communications at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Read more about The Detroit Promise:

Detroit Promise Expands Tuition-Free Program to Four-Year Universities

 

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Gives Promise to Detroit Youth

  • WKKF awards $3.5 million to support Detroit Promise, a tuition free path to college available to all Detroit high school graduates.
  • The grant will support attendance to 22 participating 2-year and 4-year colleges and also will pay for “Promise Path” counselors to work with students to help ensure their academic success.
  • Students have until June 30, 2017, to apply at www.DetroitPromise.com.

DETROIT — A W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) grant to Detroit Promise will support thousands of Detroit high school graduates with tuition and services as they pursue a college education over the next three years.

The $3.5 million WKKF grant is part of a collaborative effort by the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit to help ensure that Detroit youth have the opportunity to pursue a college education and prepare for 21st century careers through the Detroit Promise, a program administered by the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation. It is part of a $30 million campaign led by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF), which seeks to shepherd the program through a critical time of transition and development.

The grant will support the 2-year and 4-year scholarship program to meet anticipated growth in demand. It also will support efforts to enhance retention rates so that more students successfully obtain degrees and certificates.

“I greatly appreciate the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in leading efforts to fund scholarships for the Detroit Promise,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This community is providing increased educational opportunities that students here didn’t have previously, which is critical for their future success and for the future of Detroit.”

Under the leadership of Snyder, MEEF has raised nearly $10 million in seed money to initiate the scholarship program, established in 2013 and formerly known as the Detroit Scholarship Fund.
The program has helped more than 2,200 students attend college; support from WKKF will ensure that the scholarship and supportive programs are fully developed and available to Detroit youth as public funding becomes available during the next couple of years under the Detroit Promise Zone, a tax capture program initiated by Mayor Mike Duggan.

“The support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will bring Detroit Promise closer to becoming a permanent part of the city’s effort to remove barriers to opportunity for young Detroiters,” Duggan said. “This grant will help transform more young lives.”

Students have until June 30 to apply for the promise for the fall 2017 semester. Students can apply at www.DetroitPromise.com.

The WKKF grant also will support a pilot of a new cutting-edge coaching program, Detroit Promise Path. The program supports full-time counselors who work one-on-one with Detroit Promise freshmen to stay enrolled and succeed at the five participating community colleges: Wayne County Community College District, Oakland Community College, Macomb Community College, Henry Ford College and Schoolcraft College.

The Detroit Promise Path “success coaches” meet regularly with Detroit Promise students, develop a supportive community for these students and work to help them reach their academic goals. As an example, the Detroit Promise Path program, including the installation of a success coach and student wrap-around services at Henry Ford College, was piloted this year with a grant from the Applebaum Family Foundation.

Working with Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), a nationally recognized research and policy organization, the goal of the program is to significantly increase college completion and graduation for low-income Detroit college students. Created in 1974 by the Ford Foundation and a group of federal agencies, MDRC is the primary implementation and research partner for Detroit Promise Path and will coordinate program and all research-related activities for the evaluation.

“Preliminary results (which will be released in early summer) are promising,” said Colleen Sommo, the lead researcher for MDRC. “Students who received the additional services were more likely to persist into their second semester and to enroll full time in both the first and second semesters than students who received only the scholarship.”

“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation investment will assure that more Detroit youth will enter college and successfully earn post-secondary degrees,” said Sandy Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Thousands of young Detroit residents will be better prepared for and able to succeed in the 21st century global economy.”

This grant also will support the results and lessons drawn from the Detroit Promise Path pilot to educators across Michigan including the 17 universities partners who have joined Detroit Promise to provide qualified Detroit graduates a tuition free path to a four-year bachelor’s degree. Many universities run similar supportive support and coaching programs for scholarship students and those who are the first in their family to attend college. Thus, the work supported by WKKF will provide a replicable model that will benefit low-income, first time college students from across Michigan and across the country.

About W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

About the Detroit Promise

The Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation administers the Detroit Promise on behalf of the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and the Detroit Promise Zone. The scholarship program was initially started as the Detroit Scholarship Fund in 2013 as part of the effort put forth by Governor Rick Snyder to provide Detroit high school graduates a tuition fee path to college. The program has supported the college education of over 2,200 Detroit residents. With the establishment of the Detroit Promise Zone authority in 2016, Mayor Mike Duggan has paved the way for public funding to sustain the scholarship program in future years.

About the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation

The Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) is a nonprofit, philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting innovative education initiatives for students in Michigan. By investing in innovative, education initiatives, MEEF seeks to build an attractive workforce, foster entrepreneurship, and nurture economic growth in Detroit and the state of Michigan. The Foundation funds these educational initiatives with a focus on supporting education for Michigan students who need the support most. MEEF is currently focused on raising nearly $30 million to support the Detroit Promise program as it faces increased demand, the need for innovative coaching services, and private funding before public financing is available.

Detroit Drives Degrees Provides Platform to Discuss Region’s Talent Pipeline

By Daniel Lai

The Detroit Regional Chamber held its Talent Outlook: Detroit Drives Degrees breakfast on Thursday, March 23 at the Detroit Athletic Club to discuss the region’s talent pipeline and report on the first year of the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) initiative. At standing room only, nearly 200 attendees heard from leaders from the higher education, business, government, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

33304034420_f189956d27_oChamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah opened the event by giving a brief overview of the D3 program and making a challenge to the audience. “Sixty percent. That is the one number I want you all to remember today,” Baruah said. “As a region, to compete and succeed, we need at least 60 percent of the population to have a postsecondary credential.”

Baruah noted that of the 11.6 million new U.S. jobs created since the recession, 99 percent have gone to workers with some college education.

D3’s overarching goal is to lead the region in achieving 60 percent postsecondary degree attainment by 2025.

The breakfast featured a keynote address from David Dodson, president of MDC, a nonprofit that publishes research and develops programs focused on expanding opportunity, reducing poverty, and addressing structural inequity.

Drawing from his personal journey, Dodson shared how mobility outcomes can drastically change with a postsecondary credential. His philosophy centered around the belief that a person’s socioeconomic status early in life should not determine where they end up later and education makes all the difference.

He described the pathway to upward economic mobility through a three-step process. First, one must complete foundational education. Secondly, obtain a postsecondary credential. Lastly, enter and advance in the workplace. Educational experience, a support network, work exposure, work experience, professional development and a professional network are all building blocks that must be developed and cultivated to achieve success.

Dodson stressed that the biggest takeaway for the business community is to not only build pathways or launchpad institutions, like D3, but to help those in disadvantaged communities truly navigate and fully understand the path to achieving the American dream.

The breakfast also featured a panel that shared insight on how to strengthen the Detroit region’s homegrown talent pipeline. Dodson was joined by Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest; William Huffaker, global director of talent acquisition for General Motors Co.; and moderated by Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network.

The discussion centered on the concept that talent, not capital, is Detroit’s most important asset.

“Detroit children are at the bottom of student achievement,” Arellano said. “A Boston fourth-grade student, educationally, is three years ahead of that of a Detroit student. The schools can’t do it alone. We all need to become advocates, pushing for urgency, excellence and equity.”

“The talent pipeline picture really isn’t pretty,” Huffaker added. “At General Motors, we hire someone with a STEM background every 26 seconds. Our community has changed so much over the last five years than in the last 50 years. As a community, we need to not only consume talent, but produce talent.”

Huffaker also suggested the creation of a more robust mentor program. “Everyone knows that they should have a mentor, but not everyone knows how to use a mentor,” he said.

The morning also included the announcement of the winners of the “Race to the FAFSA Line” challenge, which encouraged students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The challenge was a part of D3’s initiative to improve regional postsecondary outcomes.

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Mobility, Collaboration Among Topics Discussed at Governor’s Building the 21st Century Economy Commission Meeting

The Building the 21st Century Economy Commission held its most recent meeting in Detroit at the Chamber on Feb. 22. The Commission, created by Gov. Rick Snyder, has traveled across the state to gain public input from the business community on what needs to be done long-term to grow Michigan’s economy.

The discussion was led by Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah, who chairs the Commission. Chamber Board members Matt Cullen and Sandra Pierce also make up the 15-member Commission.

The day-long event included presentations from featured guests including: Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel; Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System; Eric Larson, CEO of Downtown Detroit Partnership; John McElroy, host of “Autoline Daily”; and Mark Wallace, president and CEO of Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Hackel discussed the possibilities of efficiencies by local government operational consolidations; Lassiter discussed the transformations taking place in health care due to technology; Larson and Wallace discussed the keys to success for urban areas; and McElroy focused on next-generation mobility with his view that Detroit has already prevailed over Silicon Valley in the race to build the autonomous car.

A panel of millennial Ford Motor Co. engineers discussed and shared their thoughts on how young talent want to live, work and play in Michigan.

Several Chamber staff members were on hand for the meeting, including Greg Handel, vice president of education and talent; Roy Lamphier, vice president of health care and business solutions; and Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto and vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives.

The Commission plans on presenting its recommendations at the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference.