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Your Role in Forward Detroit

The Detroit Regional Chamber announced a new initiative designed to sustain Southeast Michigan’s positive economic momentum called Forward Detroit at its annual meeting in December. This initiative aims to serve as Michigan’s leader in shaping and executing the Detroit region’s pro-growth policies and programs by building on the Chamber’s economic development and advocacy expertise.

To support this initiative, the Chamber Foundation’s economic development programs are now part of Forward Detroit. Existing funding from Foundation investors accounts for nearly $2 million annually. Through Forward Detroit, the Chamber will leverage your investment to drive economic development and help the region achieve long-term prosperity by focusing on five key areas: business, talent, people, community and global connectivity.

By aligning the Chamber’s top-notch programs and advocacy efforts, Forward Detroit hopes to sustain metro Detroit’s economic growth by benchmarking the region’s year-over-year success in:

  • Growing the number of jobs and decreasing commercial real estate vacancies
  • Decreasing regional unemployment and raising median per capita income
  • Increasing effective public transit options and population growth
  • Increasing third-grade reading scores and the number of adults with post-secondary degrees
  • Increasing foreign direct investment and the number of international firms

In order to meet these goals, the Chamber will seek increased corporate, philanthropic and individual support with the goal of raising $20 million by 2021. This will allow the Chamber to accomplish several tasks, including: creation of a targeted business attraction strategy; promoting the region’s assets and strengths through a global marketing campaign; attracting and retaining talent; and establishing a leading regional economic research authority.

“Capitalizing on this unique moment in time and sustaining our momentum requires a regionally focused strategy that transcends politics,” Chamber President Sandy Baruah said. “Forward Detroit is critical as the public sector is cutting funding for many of the priorities we need to grow the economy. Forward Detroit is a game-changer that will allow us to compete globally for talent, investment and jobs.”

The Chamber will continue to engage and inform investors on the progress of this new initiative through regular quarterly briefings and e-communication via Investor Updates and the Investor Exclusive.

For more information on Forward Detroit, visit