Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > 2022 State of Talent: Business Needs ‘To Roll Up Sleeves’ as Region Works Toward Attainment Goals

2022 State of Talent: Business Needs ‘To Roll Up Sleeves’ as Region Works Toward Attainment Goals

April 7, 2022

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Talent shortages are being felt in every state including Michigan as 1.5 million Michiganders quit their jobs in 2021 as part of the Great Resignation. Given the challenges ahead, upskilling employees and helping more students return to college to complete credentials are going to require more collective action and cannot solely fall to students or schools, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Vice President of Education and Talent Greg Handel.


Greg Handel, vice president of Education and Talent at the Detroit Regional Chamber, presents at the 2022 State of Talent: Helping Business Plan for the Future event.

“There is no one entity or sector that has the solutions,” said Handel at the Chamber’s State of the Talent event. “Business needs to roll up our sleeves and get involved.”

That’s why the Chamber has the state’s most comprehensive education and talent portfolio of programs. Under the leadership of the CEO Talent Council led by Kelly’s Peter Quigley and the Detroit Drives Degrees Leadership Council, the Chamber is leading efforts to reach educational attainment goals and offering employers opportunities to take on talent challenges.

Collectively, the Chamber’s programs are bucketed into three areas: increasing access, ensuring success, and growing the talent base. Working in lockstep with the Chamber’s Government Relations and MICHauto teams, the programs serve as boots on the ground to reach the 60% by 2030 goal and include:

Detroit Drives Degrees: Collective impact initiative that leads the region’s attainment and equity goals by rallying business, philanthropy, K-12, and higher education.

Detroit Promise: Scholarship program to provide all eligible Detroit students a tuition-free path to an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or technical certificate.

Detroit Promise Path: Nationally recognized student success program to support community college students as they work toward their credential.

Detroit Reconnect: Adult attainment program to help adults return to or enroll in college.

Let’s Detroit: Talent attraction program that connects young professionals with a regional network of ambassadors, communities, and companies.

Discover Auto: MICHauto’s talent attraction and retention program to change perceptions of automotive and mobility careers.

Handel highlighted the ways employers could engage through the Chamber, including:

  • Building reimbursement and tuition assistance plans by utilizing the Chamber’s employer toolkit.
  • Offering paid internships and learning opportunities to Detroit Promise students as they work toward their credentials.
  • Hosting the Chamber’s Detroit Reconnect workshops to help employees return to school and pursue additional education.
  • Serving as an ambassador to recruit talent to the region through Let’s Detroit by highlighting the exciting career opportunities and quality of life in Southeast Michigan.
  • Showcasing exciting careers in the automotive and mobility industry through MICHauto’s Discover auto program.

“There are about 676,000 adults in the region with some education but no degree and many of them are working for your companies right now,” Handel said.

Learn more and get involved with the Chamber’s work at


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