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WXYZ Editorial: 2015 Mackinac Conference agenda can drive Michigan’s renaissance

From WXYZ 7

By Chuck Stokes

May 25, 2015

Click here to watch the full editorial video.

WXYZ Detroit – Last year, JPMorgan Chase made a lot of news when the financial giant announced it would pump $100 million of grants and loans into Detroit over 5 years.  A few days ago, JPMorgan’s CEO renewed their commitment based on the progress the Motor City has made in just 12 months.  Phase two will concentrate on funding for workforce training programs and small business expansion support.

JPMorgan’s actions fit perfectly with the vision and agenda of the annual Mackinac Policy Conference which kicks off in just a few days.  Three words will be heard a lot when nearly 2000 movers and shakers convene on Mackinac Island for Michigan’s most important business conference.  Wisely, the Detroit Regional Chamber has selected Talent, Urban Revitalization and Cohesion as the theme of their conference.

To be competitive with other states, Michigan’s must deepen its talent base.  It must also re-invent and revitalize its biggest cities.  And Michigan leaders must speak with one voice on the most important issues facing this state.

From Grand Rapids to Detroit, our Great Lakes State has made a lot of progress since last year’s meeting up north.  Creative entrepreneurship and diversity on all levels have become key buzz words again.  From business development to race relations, it will all be on the table!

But two significant challenges also threaten our advancement, competitiveness and economic progress; the condition of our roads and bridges and the quality of K through 12 education, especially in our urban centers.

This year’s Mackinac Policy Conference agenda offers an interesting smorgasbord of topics for our leaders to discuss and debate.  We urge the speaker and attendees to drive home these three pillars: Talent, urban revitalization and cohesion.  We must act on all three of these action items with vigor if Michigan is going to have a true and sustainable renaissance.

From a changing downtown Detroit….

I’m Chuck Stokes, Editorial Director