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July 11: Chamber Endorses Mayor Bill Wild; Fortune Highlights MICHauto Survey

Candidate Spotlight – Bill Wild for Wayne County Executive

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) Board recently endorsed Bill Wild (D-Westland) for Wayne County Executive. Wild’s vision and ability to stimulate change for Wayne County stems from his eight years as mayor of Westland. Prior to his time as mayor, Wild served on the city council and planning commission, and has been a local business owner for 25 years.

In making the endorsement, Chamber PAC Board Chair, Terence Thomas said: “Mayor Wild has proven in his tenure at the helm of Wayne County’s third-largest city that he has the right experience to bring Wayne County’s finances back in order.  Mayor Wild took over a fiscally troubled city and balanced seven consecutive budgets while creating a rainy day fund with $5 million. We look forward to Mayor Wild using this experience as Wayne County Executive.”

The Detroit Regional Chamber proudly joins Bill Ford, The Detroit News and a growing coalition of business and civic leaders in supporting Wild.

For a full list of Chamber-endorsed candidates, click here.

Detroit News: Everybody Wins If Prop. 1 Passes

Last week, theDetroit News endorsed Proposal 1, urging Michigan voters to support the effort to repeal the state’s Personal Property Tax. The editorial explains how the passage of Proposal 1 would encourage job creation and business investment, and make municipal funding strong and reliable, without raising taxes on anyone – a win for all of Michigan.

The endorsement comes just weeks after the Detroit Free Press’ announced their support for the ballot referendum, meaning that both major metro Detroit newspapers have now endorsed Proposal 1.

The Chamber has been a staunch supporter of Proposal 1, and recently launched the “Know Before You Vote: ‘Yes’ on Proposal 1” campaign to help educate voters on why this issue is critical for Michigan’s future economic growth. To learn more about Proposal 1 and the Chamber’s efforts, click here.

Immigration Reform Means Economic Growth, Job Creation Say Michigan Economic Leaders

Global Detroit and Detroit Regional Chamber gathered numerous business and economic leaders on Wednesday to send a message to Congress about the importance of comprehensive immigration reform. Participants stressed that an infusion of highly skilled foreign talent would be a critical boost for Michigan’s economy, helping job creation and growth in a number of key industries like information technology, life sciences, manufacturing and agriculture.

The event was part of the National Day of Action organized by the Partnership for a New America Economy in order to highlight the economic opportunities lost due to Congressional inaction with immigration reform. Speakers included director of Global Detroit Steve Tobocman, deputy director of the Michigan Office for New Americans Karen Phillippi and president and CEO of MichBio Steve Rapundalo. Chamber president and CEO Sandy Baruah spoke on behalf of the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition.

To learn more about why immigration reform is imperative for Michigan’s prosperity, click here. To show your support for a comprehensive solution, visit

Fortune Magazine Highlights Skills Gap, Including MICHauto Career Perception Survey

The June 30 edition of Fortune Magazine featured an article on the skills gap citing MICHauto’s recently released career perception survey which indicated a high percentage of youth and influencers do not view the automotive industry as an attractive career option. The article titled “Cool kids rule! (and they may save Detroit)” highlights the growing need to attract high-tech talent and better align college curriculum and skilled trades training with industry needs, particularly automotive.

The article draws attention to a key finding in the MICHauto survey that only 9 percent of young people outside Michigan would consider an automotive-related career. The article author, Fortune’s Washington Bureau Chief Nina Easton, moderated a panel at the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference as well as an exclusive roundtable of automotive leaders as they discussed the survey and the need for increased awareness in efforts to bolster the talent pipeline.

Congrats to Greater Cleveland Partnership on Cleveland Hosting Republican National Convention

As a member of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, the Detroit Regional Chamber would like to congratulate our friend and partner, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, on the selection of Cleveland as the host of the 2016 Republican National Convention. This selection reflects the impact of the Great Lakes region in providing the manufacturing and agricultural heartbeat of America. It is a great opportunity to showcase another of the region’s great cities. To read more, click here.

Chamber Collaborates with Automation Alley, MEDC to Promote Michigan at the Farnborough International Airshow

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction team will be at the 49th Farnborough International Airshow July 13-18, collaborating with a number of regional economic development partners in order to attract new business to metro Detroit and connect already existing Michigan companies to new opportunities.
The airshow is a yearly event that rotates between Paris and Farnborough, England. In 2012, the show saw over 1,500 exhibiting companies and 100,000 participants, and spurred $72 billion in commerce.

During the last airshow, numerous exhibitors and visitors expressed interest in Michigan’s robust supply chain and resources for aerospace companies. The Chamber is pleased to be working with Automation Alley, Macomb County and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on this event.
To learn more about the trade mission, click here