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Chamber to launch talent retention, attraction website for 11-county region

August 12, 2018

Crain’s Detroit Business

By: Sherri Welch

The Detroit Regional Chamber is getting ready to roll out a talent retention and attraction website that will serve as a template for other regions in the state.

The Let’s Detroit talent attraction and retention site and strategy will align with the state’s “Choose Michigan” talent attraction site/campaign, which is expected to launch later this month, as announced during the Mackinac Policy Conference by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The chamber benchmarked other regions nationally and internationally that have robust campaigns and web portals to attract talent to develop the new site, which will target young professionals. It’s borrowing elements around employer engagement and the “live, work, play” aspects from Grand Rapids’ “Hello West Michigan” site, and an element that will enable people near and far to “text a Detroiter” stemmed from Sweden’s use of an 800 number anyone can call to ask questions about the country.

The “Let’s Detroit” site is set to go live in September.

“We view this as something that will be evergreen, that will evolve and adapt over time,” said Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah.

“There is a war for talent in global economy, and we don’t see that abating anytime soon.”

Currently, about 36 percent of graduates from post-secondary certificate and degree programs stay in the state, Baruah said. The chamber’s goal is to increase that to 60 percent and the Let’s Detroit site is part of the strategy.

The campaign is also aimed at connecting employers and talent, he said.

On the Let’s Detroit site, visitors will be able to connect with each other and places to live, work and play across the chamber’s 11-county region in Southeast Michigan.

Young professionals will also be able to text a Detroiter (or “sherpa”) to ask learn more about the region.

“You can be anywhere in the world and text a question … one of the ambassadors we’ll recruit into the program wil be able to answer that,” Baruah said.

A work group of more than 100 people, including representatives from business, nonprofits and youth groups and others with expertise in economic development, human resources and higher education, helped develop the concepts for the Let’s Detroit strategy.

Ambr Detroit is developing the website and texting function, and Saga Marketing the Let’s Detroit marketing strategy.

The chamber estimates it will take about $500,000 a year to operate the Let’s Detroit platform. It’s secured the first $100,000 from the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development to develop the template that other Michigan cities and regions can customize. The chamber is seeking contributions from its members and grants to fund the remainder.

“Our c-suite board members tell us … on a consistent basis that they can’t find talent they need today and they want to ensure their kids can … have professional careers they want in Michigan,” Baruah said.


You can view the original post from Crain’s Detroit Business on their website.