Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee Announces Endorsement of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in General Election

DETROIT, October 18, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors announced its endorsement of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in the general election in Michigan.

“Debbie Stabenow has been a tremendous champion for Michigan in Congress,” said Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The Chamber is endorsing Senator Stabenow because of her strong support of key business priorities such as the New International Trade Crossing, small business growth and regional transit. Senator Stabenow’s leadership in Washington has helped move Michigan in a positive direction during very difficult times.”

The Chamber PAC Board of Directors regularly meets to identify and support pro-business candidates and policies that support the Chamber’s public policy priorities. After careful consideration, the Chamber PAC Board of Directors made endorsements based on responses to a Chamber PAC survey, input from PAC members and personal interviews with leading candidates interested in the Chamber’s endorsement.

“We would also like to thank Congressman Pete Hoekstra for his public service and his willingness to stand as a candidate for the U.S. Senate,” Williams said. “His approach to taxation reform and entitlement spending is critical to our nation and should be addressed urgently. We look forward to working with him in the future.”

For a full list of Chamber-endorsed candidates, visit the Chamber’s website.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three-quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit

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Connection Point Among Talent Partners Awarded $2.19 Million Grant to Grow Regional Contract Manufacturing Base in Southeast Michigan

DETROIT, October 11, 2012 – The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point is among partners including the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences and Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) that were recently awarded $2.19 million over three years through the federal Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing.  The funding will support development of the “Innovation Realization Cluster” of Southeast Michigan and connect local businesses with new opportunities in an effort to foster growth and development of the region’s custom-manufacturing base

“Winning this grant reflects this region’s ability to collaborate, its manufacturing capabilities and its unparalleled innovative capacity,” said Benjamin Erulkar, senior vice president of economic development for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “This grant will boost Connection Point’s continued efforts to help Michigan companies pursue and obtain business across new markets and industries.”

Funds will allow partner recipients to identify and connect small-to-medium manufacturing firms that can support lower-volume, rapid-production, highly custom projects.  For example, companies will be better poised to help entrepreneurial firms that develop new concepts to produce prototypes and initial runs of those products without necessarily going into high-volume production.  Partners will work with companies to develop their capacity to accommodate and promote such contracts, arrange partnerships to bid and work on such opportunities, and train workers in custom manufacturing processes, including rapid machine set-up, prototyping, and related skillsets.

“A growing number of manufacturing firms are, or are open to, making a business of producing new things, as well as supporting other companies in doing so,” explained Lisa Katz, executive director of WIN. “Each partner organization will play a critical role in addressing challenges that prevent these employers from starting, growing, or transforming their business.”

Mike Finney, president & CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation added, “Hundreds of manufacturing firms in Southeast Michigan are well-positioned to grow their businesses into this space. We can support innovative firms by teaching new processes and entering new markets.”

In addition to the federal funds, the state of Michigan will provide $500,000 through the MI Match program.  Other key supporting partners include the members of the Business Accelerator Network of SE Michigan (BANSEM), University of Michigan, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

The Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing is funded by five federal agencies: Economic Development Administration, Employment & Training Administration, Small Business Administration, Department of Energy, and National Institute of Science & Technology.

Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point  With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three-quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. As part of the Chamber’s economic development portfolio, Connection Point links Michigan companies to global and local purchasers in new markets. Connection Point uncovers and develops procurement and R&D opportunities that diversify the customer bases of Michigan companies and creates sustained economic growth. The Connection Point program is funded by a grant through the Economic Development Administration, which operates as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) is an affiliate of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. MMTC’s focus is on business development, cost reduction, and quality improvement in manufacturing companies with fewer than 500 employees, with an emphasis on those with 20-249 – large enough to need effective, repeatable processes but too small to be well-served by the for-profit consulting sector. Each year, MMTC helps 200-300 Michigan manufacturers through training, consulting, and management mentoring. The MMTC is funded by NIST MEP, the MEDC, and its industry clients.

NCMS  The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, the largest cross industry collaborative Research & Development consortium in North America, is dedicated to driving innovation in commercial, defense, robotics and environmentally sustainable manufacturing. NCMS has over 25 years of experience in the formation and management of complex, multi-partner collaborative R&D programs, and is backed by corporate members representing virtually every manufacturing sector. For more information on NCMS, visit

WIN is a collaborative effort between eight community colleges, seven Michigan Works! Agencies, and various other academic, economic development, and other partners.  Its mission is to help Southeast Michigan businesses find the talent they need for success.  WIN accomplishes this using labor market intelligence, providing custom solutions for employers, and promoting innovative policy and practice.  For more information on WIN visit

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October 10, 2012: Flagrant Foul Called on Anti-NITC Ads; Don’t Forget Leadership Detroit Awards Thursday

Michigan Truth Squad Calls Flagrant Foul on Anti-Bridge Ads, Debunks Ambassador Bridge-Backed ClaimsThe Michigan Truth Squad, a nonpartisan group dedicated to separating political facts from fiction, has called a “flagrant foul” on Ambassador Bridge-backed group The People Should Decide for the blatantly misleading television ads intended to sway voters for ballot proposal 6 in the upcoming general election. This proposal would require a public vote for any public bridge or tunnel project in Michigan, most notably the New International Trade Crossing (NITC). The Detroit Regional Chamber is a long-standing supporter of the NITC and Governor Rick Snyder’s recent progress in bringing the project to fruition.

Analysis available on the Michigan Truth Squad website debunks claims made in the ads and highlights how the agreement with Canada to build the NITC puts the financial onus for the project on Michigans neighbor rather than Michigan. It also points out that Michigan will not increase its debt load with the NITC project, contrary to claims made in the commercials. To read about the falsities presented in these ads, click here.

Don’t Forget to Register for Leadership Detroit Awards, ThursdayPlease join the Detroit Regional Chamber for the 2012 Leadership Detroit Awards tomorrow, October 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. on the M@dison Building rooftop in Detroit, as several exceptional leaders are honored for their work to create positive change in the community. Selected from over 1,500 alumni, these individuals epitomize the spirit of lifelong leadership and will share their insights on leadership and community involvement. For more information or to register to attend, click here.

Join us for Inside the CEO Mind with DMC’s Mike Duggan, October 16Don’t miss the Detroit Regional Chamber’s first Inside the CEO Mind event this season featuring Detroit Medical Center (DMC) CEO Mike Duggan. Join us on October 16 from 8 to 10 a.m. at Harper University Hospital as Duggan shares insight into his organization’s continued growth during this exclusive, intimate discussion followed by an audience question-and-answer session.

The DMC is an anchor in the community, and the last few years have seen major growth through the merger with Vanguard Health Systems. Duggan is the CEO who led the DMC through that merger and continues to lead the organization through new expansions, groundbreakings and advancements in research. Duggan will share insight on the organization’s continued growth during this exclusive, intimate discussion. To learn more or to register, click here.

Detroit Drives Degrees Aims to Increase Post-Secondary Education
The Detroit Regional Chamber is pleased to announce Detroit Drives Degrees as the Detroit region’s Talent Dividend initiative. Created by CEOs for Cities, the Talent Dividend initiative is a national campaign aimed at increasing post-secondary education attainment by offering a $1 million prize to the metro region that demonstrates the greatest growth in college degree attainment over a three-year period. Increasing college attainment by just one percentage point could mean capturing an additional $3.4 billion in annual income for residents of Metro Detroit.

The Chamber is serving as a convener in launching Detroit Drives Degrees, with three areas of focus: increasing college access, improving graduation rates in post-secondary institutions and retaining college graduates in the region. Each area of focus includes multiple partners such as Michigan College Access Network, Project WIN-WIN and Michigan Economic Development Corporation that are working toward increased education attainment in the region. To learn more about Detroit Drives Degrees partners, please visit

APACC Dinner Honors Distinguished Business Professionals this ThursdayThe 2012 Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce “Salute to Excellence Award Dinner” will honor Asian business professionals and Asian-owned companies that have achieved notable success and outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields of industry. The dinner is set for this Thursday, October 11, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn. For more information, click here.

Chamber Participates in Brooksie Way Half MarathonThe 5th annual Brooksie Way Half Marathon took place September 30 and the Detroit Regional Chamber sponsored and participated in the event. All of the proceeds from this quality of life event went to Oakland County communities through Brooksie Way MiniGrants. To learn more about the Brooksie Way, click here.

Political Profile: State Representative John WalshThe Detroit Regional Chambers Political Action Committee (PAC) has endorsed State Rep. John Walsh (R-Livonia) for the general election on November 6. Elected in 2008, Walsh was an early supporter of the New International Trade Crossing and has worked to pass the tax reform package of 2011 that include the repeal of the Michigan business tax. Walsh is a bipartisan sponsor of the recent package of bills to create a Detroit Lighting Authority in order to turn the lights back on in Detroit.

Walsh graduated from Michigan State University in 1984 and Wayne State University Law School in 1987. Walsh practiced corporate law for 15 years prior to joining Schoolcraft College as an executive in 2001. He serves as chair of the House Judiciary Committee and is vice chair of the House Tax Policy Committee.

Detroit Regional Chamber Supports Removal of Political Ad Negatively Depicting DetroitThe Detroit Regional Chamber applauds Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s opposition to a negative television ad that was eventually removed after running in Oakland County on Monday and Tuesday. The ad lauds Oakland County while negatively portraying the city of Detroit. The Chamber continuously supports a collaborative relationship between all of the counties in Southeast Michigan and the city of Detroit and opposes ads of this nature that only serve to divide those positive relationships and progress. In a Detroit News article, Patterson said he has never been a proponent of negative political ads and that he and his administration strive to be part of the solution. The Chamber greatly appreciates Brooks’ continued strong leadership for the region. To read more about the ad’s removal, click here.

Detroit Regional Chamber Announces 2012 Leadership Detroit Award Winners Recognizing Difference Makers

DETROIT, October 10, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announces winners of the 2012 Leadership Detroit awards recognizing individuals who are creating positive change in the region. Recipients of the Inspirational Leader, Lifelong Leader and Emerging Leadership awards will be recognized at a ceremony tomorrow, October 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. on the M@dison Building rooftop in Detroit.

“The distinguished individuals recognized through the Leadership Detroit Awards have left a lasting footprint in Southeast Michigan through their commitments to making a difference and building a brighter future for the region,” said the Chamber’s Senior Director of Community Leadership Development Dan Piepszowski. “I am proud to present each of these individuals with the recognition they deserve for all of their hard work in our community.”

This year’s winners of the Emerging Leadership Award are members of the Leadership Detroit Class XXXII Race and Reconciliation Committee, including: Alicia Alvarez, University of Michigan; Leslie Andrews, Rock Ventures, LLC; Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, DTE Energy; Gerald Chiddick, Amerisure Insurance Company; Scott Alan Davis, Vanguard Community Development Corporation; Al-Azhar Pacha, ALPAC, Inc.; Gina Polley, Legal Aid & Defender Association; Sharnita C. Johnson, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and Mary Jo Larson, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP.

Each of these LD graduates are being recognized for their commitment to work together after graduation to develop a framework to continue a dialogue on race relations. They moved the conversation beyond their class using the Cafe Model and invited leaders from the region to join them in an effort to support racial reconciliation.

Elizabeth Barton, LD XXIX, of The Waverly Group-Midwest, LLC is being honored with the Inspirational Leader Award for her leadership in the development of the University Partners Detroit program, an innovative student leadership program. She modeled the way for the development of new collaborative program that allowed representatives from seven competing universities in the region, including Windsor, to work together for the benefit of supporting young talent development.

Faye Nelson, LD XIII, of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Inc. is receiving the Lifelong Leadership Award for her sustained commitment to improving the quality of life for the residents of Detroit. She has contributed to Detroit’s future through her steadfast commitment to the revitalization of Detroit’s waterfront.

About Leadership Detroit

Leadership Detroit is a community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan led by the Detroit Regional Chamber with over 1,800 alumni. Launched in 1979, the program aims to create awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region and to challenge emerging and existing community leaders to bring about positive change in the community through informed leadership. For more information on Leadership Detroit, visit

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three-quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit

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Canada Welcome

In addition to being Michigan’s biggest trading partner, there are currently 103 Canadian facilities located in the Detroit Region

United Kingdom

There are 85 facilities from the United Kingdom operating in the Detroit Region.