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Build Your Talent Pipeline With Let’s Detroit

Nearly 60,000 students graduate from Southeast Michigan colleges and universities each year. Let’s Detroit aims to keep these graduates in Michigan by connecting them with things to do, places to live, jobs and each other. Businesses can leverage Let’s Detroit to reach young talent in an authentic way. Increase visibility for your brand, industry and career potential for young talent at your company through this online and offline platform.

The Detroit Regional Chamber is taking an innovative approach to its talent retention and attraction efforts
with the launch of Let’s Detroit. The strategy focuses on connecting young professionals to each other, employment, things to do, places to live and opportunities to make a positive impact via an online and offline platform. National economic data suggests that a region’s per capita income is largely
driven by the percentage of highly skilled, educated adults it retains. While the region’s employers consistently list access to talent as a top concern, until now, there has not been an organized strategy around retaining talent, said Greg Handel, the Chamber’s vice president of education and talent.
Thirty-six percent of graduates from Michigan colleges and universities leave the state within a year of graduating, Handel said. The Chamber wants to increase the number of college graduates who remain in the state by 1 percent each year and also attract talent from outside the state. About 100 partners from government, nonprofit, young professional groups, higher education and businesses across the region began working on the initiative over a year ago. They analyzed survey results, held focus group discussions,
and studied best practices for talent retention and attraction from cities like New Orleans, Philadelphia and Calgary. Handel said survey feedback revealed that young people are generally not aware of career opportunities in Southeast Michigan.

Text a Detroiter

Let’s Detroit engages young professionals who enjoy talking about their neighborhood, favorite things to do, career or ways to make an impact on the community. Through a unique “Text a Detroiter” platform, regional ambassadors answer questions from anyone, anywhere in the world and serve as a one-stop resource for all that the Detroit region has to offer. The technology is like that used by Uber and Lyft.

How Does It Work? lets users choose features, such as where to find a lively nightlife or outdoor recreation, and highlights cities on a map where opportunities exist. Regional ambassadors can also recommend events
or places to check out. Another section of the website focuses on careers, since the Chamber recognizes
that talent will only stay or move to Detroit if they have a job, said Sarah Craft, manager for the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees initiative. Graduates can reach out to young professionals in 10 different industries who can connect them to professional or industry-specific groups. “A lot of people are here because they want to make a difference in the community and it’s surprisingly hard to get engaged,” Craft said. The platform will include resources on ways young professionals can volunteer, learn and lead in their communities. One of the most impressive features is called “Text a Detroiter” which allows anyone, anywhere in the world to reach out to a young professional living here who is invested in the region’s success and ask questions. While the perception of Detroit and the region has improved, there’s still work to do, Craft said. She hopes that having locals — not just the Chamber — share their love for Detroit and the region will change that narrative.

Melissa Anders is a metro Detroit native and freelance writer.

What Can I Find?

Find Your Place

Is your talent new to Southeast Michigan and not sure where to settle in? Connect them with
resources to find their perfect community. Talent can learn what the region has to offer from a local resident to get the insider perspective.

Land Your Dream Job 

Finding a job you love is harder than it sounds. Let’s Detroit strengthens professional networks and
connects talent to the field they care about.

Explore And Enjoy

There are so many things to do in Southeast Michigan but it’s sometimes hard to know
what’s going on. Let’s Detroit helps young talent find their community, whether that’s in a jazz club, on a hiking trail or over brunch.

Meet The Let’s Detroit Ambassadors

Clarence Anthony Jr

Coordinator, Graduate Student Career Advancement, University of Michigan

Industry: Education

Why I Love Detroit: It has a lot of cultural pride and history in multiple fields of innovation. I also find that the culture of Detroit is one that embodies grit and determination — not only in continuously driving forward to grow as a city, but also in preserving its past.

Zain Ismail

Senior Consultant, Strategic Support Services Henry Ford Health System

Industry: Health Care

Why I Love Detroit: One of my favorite things about Detroit is its proximity to Windsor, Ontario. It’s only in this region that you can take advantage of the best of what two countries have to offer.

Michael Waling

Finance Manager, FCA US LLC

Industry: Automotive

Why I Love Detroit: I love the spirit of Detroit. There is a sense of shared pride and community in our city. There is also a “tough, no nonsense” vibe to the city, which I have really come to admire.

Nicole Watkins

QA Engineer, Detroit Labs

Industry: Technology

Why I Love Detroit: We have a diverse community of IT professionals who are highly engaged in sharing knowledge and opportunities. I work for a great company that helped me build my career in software development and testing, and I’ve gained valuable experience on mobile and web apps with global reach.

How Do I Get Engaged?

As a business organization who cares about attracting the right talent, Let’s Detroit offers myriad ways to engage with young professionals around the world. Here are a few ways you can leverage the website to augment your talent attraction and retention strategy.

Become a Partner Let’s Detroit partnership opportunities offer 12 months of engagement and exposure through the website, a texting function, engagement opportunities and social media engagement. It also exists offline to enhance and create programs aimed at driving regional collaboration, social mobility, equity and economic prosperity.
Showcase the Region

Need a way to show talent all that the region has to offer? is the perfect tool. Businesses can leverage the website in their recruitment strategy and onboarding toolkit. The site helps companies show off places to live, events, and how to plug into community projects and young professional groups.

Engage Your Talent

Businesses can engage young professionals in their organization to serve as texting or employment ambassadors. These individuals help promote the region and share resources, recommendations and events related to their field of work to help connect talent and grow their network.

Start retaining Michigan’s top talent for the future of your business at