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June 17: Chamber Endorses Senator Virgil Smith; Proposal 1 Toolkit Now Available

Candidate Spotlight: State Senator Virgil Smith

State Senator Virgil Smith (D-Detroit) has succeeded in moving significant legislation through the state Senate despite serving in the Democratic minority, and is considered one of the most effective bipartisan members of the Legislature.  Sen. Smith’s work during his first term in the Michigan Senate, made him an easy choice for the endorsement of the Chamber Political Action Committee Board.

Throughout the past two years, Sen. Smith proved to be an effective and thoughtful lawmaker in supporting policy to continue Detroit’s renaissance. Combining his passion for economic development and his home city, Sen. Smith has championed bills intended to curb habitual blight violations in Detroit, and is a sponsor of legislation enabling the construction of the M-1 RAIL project along Woodward Avenue.

Elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2002, Sen. Smith served three terms before being elected to the Michigan Senate in 2010. For a full list of Chamber-endorsed candidates, click here.

Help Share the Message About Proposal 1, Toolkit Now Available

On August 5, voters will make a decision on Proposal 1, which will greatly impact business throughout the state. Educating voters about voting “Yes” on Proposal 1 and the benefits of eliminating Michigan’s burdensome Personal Property Tax is another critical step in increasing Michigan’s global competitiveness and helping business succeed.

The Chamber is releasing a Proposal 1 partner toolkit. The toolkit, which is available online, includes a FAQ, Proposal 1 overview and other resources. To share the importance of Proposal 1 in advance of the August 5 election and view the full toolkit, click here. 

Chamber CEO Moderating Foreign Investment Discussion Featuring Gov. Snyder and Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson

Chamber CEO and President Sandy Baruah will moderate a discussion featuring Governor Rick Snyder and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Monday, July 21. The event, “A Plan for Foreign Investment in Detroit and Michigan,” kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and is hosted by the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field.

The programming will focus how foreign direct investment can help the greater Detroit region and the state of Michigan–using Chinese investment as an example of the opportunities and challenges that businesses face as they look at the investment landscape and evaluate their own competitiveness. To learn more about the event, click here.

MICHauto recently announced the session “Skilled Trades: Needs, Perceptions and Opportunities” as part of the agenda for the 2014 MICHauto Summit on September 23 at COBO Center. Focusing on the theme of Michigan’s Automotive Industry: Concept to Consumer, the Summit will explore the new era of Michigan innovation and the blueprint it sets for the rest of the global automotive industry.

This session, moderated by Laurie Harbour, president and CEO of Harbour Results Inc., will examine ways to attract the next generation of qualified workers to meet the growing demand for skilled trades and counter the misperceptions about the career opportunities available throughout the industry.

The panelists include:

  • Thomas Baumann, Ph.D., General Manager, Orbitak International, LLC; System Manager, Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program (MAT ²)
  • Brian Gruber, General Plant Manager, Molding Operations, Lacks Trim Systems
  • Marilyn Schlack, Ed.D., President, Kalamazoo Valley Community College

To register for the Summit, click here. An updated Summit agenda is also available online.

Site Selection Magazine Profiles MEDC, MICHauto Efforts to Grow Automotive Industry

The July edition of Site Selection magazine highlighted efforts to promote, grow and retain Michigan’s role as the global epicenter of the automotive industry. “Leading from the Front,” showcases the work by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the state’s senior automotive adviser Nigel Francis as well as the Chamber’s MICHauto program.

The article, which includes comments by MICHauto’s Vice President Glenn Stevens, highlights Michigan’s unparalleled workforce, research and development advantage and superior supply chain for a national audience of site selectors and economic development professionals.

Click here to read the full article.

NY Times Profiles Dan Gilbert, Ponyride and the Opportunity in Detroit Resurgence

The New York Times recently profiled efforts to revitalize Detroit highlighting that the Motor City has become the testing ground for the new American Dream where private sector leaders like Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert are leading the charge of new enterprise. The July 11 piece, “The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit” focuses on Gilbert’s investment and the mantra of Opportunity Detroit as well as work being done to spread Detroit’s downtown revival and grow small business in the neighborhoods.

The article highlights work in Corktown by organizations such as Chamber Board member Phil Cooley’s PonyRide, and efforts to help entrepreneurs thrive along the Avenue of Fashion. Click here to read the full article.

Take Your Networking Skills to the Next Level at Networking 101, July 29

Join Small Business: Unlocked for Networking 101 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29 at the Detroit Golf Club to hear from industry expert Jay Johnson, founding partner at WorldLink Communications. Johnson will share the how-to’s on giving the proper handshake, reading body language and starting dynamic conversations. Following the program, you will put these tips to the test by networking with fellow attendees. For more information and to register, click here.

Dust Off Your Business Cards for Macomb County’s Largest Business Card Exchange

Join the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Anchor Bay Chamber of Commerce for Macomb Country’s Largest Business Card Exchange on Wednesday, August 20. Attendees will meet new and build new relationships and reconnect with colleagues while enjoying a beautiful waterfront view. Chamber members will receive discounted pricing. To register, click here.

Model Series on Food Economy Follows Local Entrepreneur to Eastern Market

The latest installment of Model D’s series on the food economy gives a unique peek into the pre-dawn hours at Eastern Market. The piece includes a video that follows local food entrepreneur, Shannon Byrne of Slow Jams, on a trip to the wholesale market where she sources ingredients from local farmers. The 10-month series, completed in partnership with the Detroit Food and Agriculture Network (DFAN)  of which the Chamber is a proud member, shares the story and economic impact of the Detroit region’s food and agriculture industry.