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September 3, 2013: Chamber Joins ‘Morning Joe’ Business Roundtable; Medicaid Expansion Headed to Governor

Chamber Joins Business Roundtable from ‘Morning Joe’ Detroit Broadcast In case you missed it, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” broadcast from the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant on Thursday and featured a roundtable focused on the next steps as Detroit navigates bankruptcy. The three-hour morning news program hosted regional leaders in a discussion focused on all things Motor City including why Detroit is a great place to do business.

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO and President Sandy Baruah appeared alongside Bedrock Manufacturing CEO Heath Carr and Carhartt Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Linda Hubbard. “Morning Joe” hosts, and 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference speakers, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough led a brief discussion about what needs to be done to attract businesses and strengthen the pro-growth climate in Detroit. Click here to view the clip.

Other leaders appearing on the show included: D2 Strategies President Debbie Dingell, Ford COO Mark Fields, Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, City Council President Saunteel Jenkins, Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand, Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

Medicaid Expansion Headed to Governor’s Desk

After waiting through the summer for the Michigan Senate to vote on Medicaid reform, supporters, including the Detroit Regional Chamber were finally able to declare victory, as the Senate passed the bill with a 20-18 vote this week. The bill, which now heads back to the House, would expand coverage to approximately 300,000 individuals at 133 percent of the federal poverty line.

Expanding Medicaid allows Michigan to lower health care costs by reducing the level of uncompensated care, and encouraging low-income individuals to pursue care from a primary care physician instead of the much costlier emergency room. It also puts into place key reforms that will allow for greater cost-sharing and increased incentives for Medicaid participants to adopt healthy behaviors. The expansion also will help keep business’ health care costs in check by reducing levels of uncompensated care.

The expansion will be paid for by the federal government for the first three years and they will pay 90 percent in the years after.  Estimates from the University of Michigan indicate that these savings will more than pay for the increased financial expectations of the state as federal assistance declines.

Sen. Stabenow Announces Legislation to Help Tackle Skills Gap

On Tuesday, the Detroit Regional Chamber joined U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow at Oakland Community College as she unveiled a major legislative initiative to help train workers for new high-skilled jobs. Senator Stabenow’s New Skills for New Jobs Act builds on successful efforts in Michigan and several other states that are helping community colleges partner with local businesses to provide training to workers for new high-skilled jobs. The bill would provide a federal match to double the number of workers and businesses that can participate in the Michigan New Jobs Training program.

At the event, Senator Stabenow recognized the Chamber for its efforts in supporting such initiatives to address the skills gap. The topic was front and center at the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference as businesses across the state are reporting difficulty finding workers for many skilled positions despite thousands of Michigan residents looking for jobs. As part of the Conference To-Do List, the Chamber committed to convening businesses and community colleges to better link the talent needs of employers with community college program offerings.

For information, click here.

Ford, U-M to Discuss Industry-Academic Partnership at 2013 Michigan Automotive Summit

Don’t miss the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto program at the 2013 Michigan Automotive Summit on September 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring a panel discussion on the unique partnerships that exist between Michigan’s automotive industry and the state’s renowned academic institutions. The session will specifically highlight a 50-year partnership between Ford Motor Company and the University of Michigan.

Ford’s Global Manager of External Alliances for Research and Advanced Engineering, Ed Krause and U of M’s Director of Corporate Relations at the College of Engineering, Michael Drake will discuss their collaborative efforts, highlight success stories, and speak to the benefits of such partnerships.

Register today and stay tuned for additional speaker announcements and agenda details.

Don’t Miss the Return of Maverick Marketing Monday Next Week, Jeff Chu of Fast Company Kicks Off Season’s Programming

The Chamber’s Small Business: Unlocked fall lineup gets under way next week with Maverick Marketing Monday featuring Jeff Chu, editor-at-large of Fast Company on Monday, September 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Emagine in Royal Oak. Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand based in New York with insight on how to turn customers into brand ambassadors.

The session, titled “Brand Storytelling: Lessons from Fast Company,” will touch on how small and medium-sized businesses can maximize their brand awareness with less time and fewer resources, all while making use of the latest technology. Learn more and register today.

Each session includes a boxed lunch and beverage. For more information, please contact Marianne Alabastro at 313.596.0479.

Office Depot Foundation’s National Backpack Program Gives Back to the Community

Office DepotAs the children in our community head back to school, the Office Depot Foundation gave away 3,000 new backpacks to nonprofit organizations and schools in the Detroit. The Chamber’s Chief Operating Officer Tammy Carnrike attended in support of our valued business partner.

By the end of this year, the foundation will have helped over 3 million children around the world. The foundation’s award-winning National Backpack Program has assisted children in all 50 states and 20 countries since 2001. Read more on the Office Depot Foundation here.

Excellent Schools Detroit Scorecard an Effective Tool to Share with Employees

Excellent Schools Detroit recently released its 2013 Scorecard, providing in-depth, side by side comparison of Detroit’s schools on a wide range of performance measures that prepare students for success in career, college and community. This scorecard measures school quality and can be a valuable tool for employees with children of school age to make sense of Detroit’s more than 200 schools and find the best fit for their child. The Chamber encourages members to share the scorecard with employees. To access the report card, click here.