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February 10: Nolan Finley Explores ‘Two Detroits’ at Detroit Policy Conference, Prices Increase Feb. 19

Nolan Finley Explores ‘Two Detroits’ at Detroit Policy Conference, Prices Increase Feb. 19

Nolan Finley’s recent columns in The Detroit News highlight two narratives emerging in Detroit’s post-bankruptcy era — one of a resurgent downtown juxtaposed with struggling neighborhoods. Following opening remarks by Finley, he and Devin Scillian, WDIV-TV 4 anchor, will lead a panel discussion with local community experts at the Detroit Policy Conference focused on the disparities in economic and entrepreneurial opportunity that exist among the “two Detroits.”

Panelists include Dennis Archer Jr., president and CEO of Archer Corporate Services; Cindy Pasky, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions; Detroit City Councilman André Spivey; and Eric Williams, director of the Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law, Wayne State University.

The Conference, scheduled for Feb. 26 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MotorCity Casino Hotel, brings together key business, community and political leaders to lead dialogue focused on shaping the city and the region’s future. The agenda will feature main stage programming and speakers — including Mayor Mike Duggan and urban strategist and best-selling author Peter Kageyama — while concurrent breakout sessions will focus on education, neighborhood revitalization and transportation.

The Detroit Regional Chamber encourages you to attend this day dedicated to Detroit’s success. Click here to register and to view speaker, agenda and program updates. Conference registration pricing increases on Feb. 19.

Shifting Business, Consumer Needs Focus of 2015 Health Care Leaders Forum, March 31

The health care landscape in Michigan and the United States is evolving at a rapid pace due to changes in regional demographics, rising medical costs and shifting business and consumer needs. On Tuesday, March 31, the Detroit Regional Chamber will host the 2015 Health Care Leaders Forum at the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) largely in place, the Forum will focus on the ACA’s wins, losses and consequences for patients and businesses. Mark McClellan, director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiative and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will kick off the Forum with a keynote address focused on the current health care setting in the United States and areas for improvement. Click here to register and to view speaker, agenda and program updates.

The Forum has been approved for 6.25 HR (general) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, visit the HR Certification Institute website at

MICHauto’s Discover Auto Series Gives Lawrence Tech Students Up Close Look at Automotive Industry’s Comeback

As part of its ongoing Discover Auto series, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto initiative collaborated with Lawrence Technological University last week to engage and excite students about careers in the automotive industry.

Over 70 students attended the event to hear from keynote speaker Jeff Nichols, executive director of advanced technology integration at American Axle & Manufacturing, as well as a panel of recent university alumni working in the industry. The speakers shared how new innovations and technology are driving growth and opportunity, emphasizing that there has truly never been a better time to work in the automotive industry.

Following the presentation, the students had a chance to network and exchange resumes with MICHauto partner companies. The event was the third of its kind hosted by MICHauto. The series aims to build the next generation of automotive leaders by attracting and retaining talent to the industry. Click here to learn more about MICHauto.

Michigan Ranks Fifth in Nation for High-Tech Assets, New Brookings Study Finds

A new report released by the Brookings Institution reveals that Detroit and Michigan are outperforming the rest of the country in terms of high-tech assets. The report shows that the state ranks fifth in total number of advanced industry jobs, ranging from automotive to information technology. In addition, among large U.S. metropolitan areas, the study ranks the Detroit region fourth, behind San Jose, Calif. and Seattle, Wash., with jobs directly tied to those high-tech industries.

According to the report’s authors, high-tech industries have a direct impact on the country’s global competitiveness. Since 2010, high-tech industries have led the U.S. economic recovery effort, employing 12.2 million people and producing 17 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The report ranks the state and region high on the list due to its large concentration of engineers and research facilities. However, the report concludes that Michigan is not doing enough to prepare students for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers. Click here to read the full report.

Chamber Board Member Frank Venegas Honored with MLK Social Justice Award from Dartmouth College

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Frank Venegas Jr., founder and CEO of Ideal Group and Chamber Board member, for being named one of Dartmouth College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award recipients.

The award honors community members who have contributed significantly to social justice, peace, civil rights, education, public health or environmental justice. Venegas is being honored for his community service contributions to the city of Detroit and for “engaging corporations, area nonprofits, government and educational institutions to build a collaborative model resulting in a community socioeconomic transformation of more jobs, increased high school and college graduation rates, satisfying career paths and Southwest Detroit neighborhood pride.”

Venegas will share his leadership insight on growing Ideal Group into a $250-million company on March 25 at the Chamber’s Inside the CEO Mind. A location and time will be announced. For more information, contact Marianne Alabastro.