From Kevin Johnson, President and CEO
My fellow leadership team members and I are attending the annual Mackinac Policy Conference (MPC) once again. This year’s conference is focused on uniting the state as “One Michigan” under three pillars: prepare, grow and love. These topics also reflect the foundation of DEGC’s 2019 strategic objectives:
- Prepare – Prepare the city and its people for economic opportunity. This means ensuring Detroit is ready for investment by creating a turnkey ecosystem. Everyday, DEGC is broadening our development toolkit and growing our competitive advantage. This includes developing a pipeline of skilled workers, available land and incentives, as well as creating a welcoming, pro-business climate.
- Grow – Grow economic development and entrepreneurship. This is DEGC’s core strength. We are meeting with domestic and international companies to share Detroit’s value proposition. Locally, DEGC’s small business programs are helping to rebuild the city’s commercial corridors.
- Love – Love Detroit by embracing sustainability and stewardship. DEGC is committed to inclusive opportunities that are accessible to all Detroiters. We are focused on long-term success as well as immediate growth by ensuring all of our neighborhoods benefit from investment in the city.
As we participate in the many meetings and sessions at MPC, we’ll be forwarding DEGC’s agenda to accelerate Detroit’s economic growth. This agenda includes the need for economic incentives to overcome barriers to market entry and an aggressive land-assembly strategy – both of which result in more jobs for Detroiters.
I will also be sharing DEGC’s “what’s next” strategy, which focuses on Detroit’s historic automotive strength as well as diversifying Detroit’s economy for the future.
Right now, there is a wealth of opportunity to seize in the mobility sector thanks to monumental investments by Ford, FCA and Waymo. Each of these projects will attract supply-chain and other spin-off businesses that will add even more jobs in the city. We are negotiating deals with automotive suppliers, as well as broadening our mobility base by engaging with battery and artificial intelligence companies, among others.
Equally important, DEGC is focused on growing Detroit’s non-automotive base. This includes apparel, finance, food, logistics and retail – all of which stabilize the economy during economic cycles. Detroit is already a major player in many of these sectors with companies like Rocket Mortgage, Chemical Bank, My Locker, Wolverine Packing Co., LINC Logistics and Lip Bar. DEGC is engaged with diverse businesses and industries around the world that are interested in expanding in this region.
At MPC, DEGC can forward this agenda with business and political leaders, and continue to build important, rewarding relationships for Detroit’s businesses and residents.
As Aaron Burrs sings in the popular musical Hamilton, “it’s all about being in the room where it happens.” In this case, the room is Mackinac Island. Whether the discussion is about insurance reform, regional collaboration, economic access for all residents, talent retention or connected technologies, DEGC will be shaping the conversation.
For more information on the DEGC, visit www.degc.org.