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State of Your Detroit Regional Chamber: A Year in Review

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The Detroit Regional Chamber is recognized nationally as one of the largest and most effective chambers of commerce in the nation. Yesterday, the Chamber’s 2019 annual meeting – State of Your Detroit Regional Chamber – highlighted how the organization is addressing critical challenges facing the region and the state.

“We are proud that we have over 2,500 members supporting the regional Chamber,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah. “It’s not enough to have just a footprint here in our metro area, so we cover 11 counties that comprise the Detroit region.”

The Chamber is best known for its best-in-class convening, said Baruah. Iconic events like the unique in the nation Mackinac Policy Conference, Detroit Policy Conference, MICHauto Summit, and State of the Region address the region and state’s most pressing issues and competitiveness, connect companies to resources that can inform business decisions, and bring together business, civic, and government leaders from across the state.

The Chamber also serves as the voice for the business community in the Detroit region, and its top-rated business advocacy team is currently advancing legacy issues such as transportation, education standards, and job growth, among more. The Chamber has one of the most sought-after candidate endorsements in the state with a 90 percent success rate for endorsed candidates.

“We’ve been very involved in some of the key policy initiatives,” said Chamber Board Member Dennis W. Archer Jr., CEO of Ignition Media Group and founding partner of Archer Corporate Services. “We take a hard look at those candidates that are running for office because we have to be able to execute what’s best for the region.”

Along with serving as a voice for business in the region, the Chamber is also securing Michigan’s leadership in the automotive and next-generation mobility industry through MICHauto. With an annual economic impact of $225 billion, Michigan’s economy is dependent on the evolving automotive industry.

In order to retain and grow the industry, MICHauto is working to build the region’s talent base by changing perceptions of automotive and mobility careers among youth.

“We have 120 investors to support the initiatives retaining and attracting the talent to this industry,” said Chamber Board Member Lisa Lunsford, the CEO of Global Strategic Supply Solutions. “We are trying to get those kids a little younger than high school to show that [with a career in this industry] it’s more than an assembly line.”

The Chamber focuses on growing talent for not only the automotive and mobility industry, but for all its member companies as they prepare to create the jobs of the future. Programs such as Detroit Promise ensure that Detroit students have a pathway to a tuition-free college education, and Let’s Detroit works to attract and retain young professionals in the region.

“I truly believe that education is a steppingstone to a better life,” said Chamber Board Member Paul Glantz, co-founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment Inc.