Print Friendly and PDF

Detroit Regional Chamber To Expand Strategy To Fill Talent Gap With $765K Grant From Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation

The Detroit Regional Chamber recently announced an expanded strategy to help fill the talent pipeline for employers and a grant of $765,000 from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to fund this work for the next two years. The Chamber’s effort is targeting the region’s population who have some college experience but haven’t earned a postsecondary degree or credential. The work removes barriers for these individuals to pursue their degree or credential and offers a pathway to a sustainable career.

Along with growing the pool of qualified workers for employers, the Chamber aims to help increase the per capita income for these workers with the goal of cutting the region’s equity gap in half.

“Over the past year, the Chamber’s strategies to fill the talent gap have gained national attention. The grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation will build upon that work by targeting Detroiters who are unemployed or underemployed and connect them with a pathway to earn a sustainable living wage by aligning their skills with the needs of regional businesses,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Chamber.

The Chamber’s strategy targets adults and engaging businesses in the following counties — Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne. To execute the full strategy, the Chamber estimates this work will require an additional $1.5 million in funding.

Furthering Education For Adults in the Detroit Region
The expanded strategy aims to increase postsecondary degree attainment in Michigan to 60% by 2030, a goal established by the Chamber in 2016 that was adopted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year. Nearly 700,000 people in the Detroit region qualify as “adult learners” — people aged 25 years or older who attended some college but never earned a degree.

The Chamber is Now Poised to:
1. Help Employers establish an environment to upskill existing employees.
2. Work with regional community colleges to align programs with business needs and become more adult-friendly.
3. Reach adults from the past 15 years who “stopped out” before earning a degree and help them restart their education.
4. Help adult learners navigate their return to education by connecting them with support services to ensure their success.

In Case You Missed It

Protect Your Business From Cyberattacks
Detroit-based public relations agency Franco’s Tina Kozak shared the best tactics to protect from cybersecurity crises is a Q&A with the Chamber. Read here. Learn about cyberattacks, de-escalating disasters, and protecting your organization’s image at the Chamber’s new event, Your Company’s Crisis: What You Need to Know Now.

New Detroiter Issue: People, Planet, and Profit
The October issue of the Detroiter highlights businesses in the Detroit region that are forces for good in their communities, from investing in education to prioritizing the environment. The issue’s cover story features CEO of Ideal Group Frank Venegas Jr. who made giving back to Southwest Detroit imperative to his company. Read the October 2019 issue of the Detroiter here.

CNBC’s Ron Insana to Keynote State of the Region
The Chamber recently announced CNBC Senior Analyst Ron Insana as a keynote speaker for the 2019-2020 State of the Region. The event will feature the latest data on the region’s key economic drivers and assess its standing among peer regions. Insana will provide insight on economic trends, trade and manufacturing, and the role of the workforce in our changing economy. Register for State of the Region.

In The News

Crain’s Detroit Business: Chambers: New Expungement Package Will Help Thousands Find Work
Detroit Free Press: Michigan Bills to ‘Raise the Age” for Adult Prosecution Head to Governor 
Inside Higher Ed: A Second Chance At Detroit Colleges