Building an Inclusive Region

Research and Advocacy Effect Systems-Level Change

Global Detroit’s regional economic development strategy aims to build inclusion into the region’s economic development strategies, policies, practices, and programs. Over the past 13 years, we have achieved systems-level change through research, communications, and advocacy.

2022 witnessed unprecedented impact from our systems-level research and advocacy work.

The Michigan Legislature allocated $5 million to the Global Talent Attraction and Retention Program, making Michigan a national leader in investing in programs that encourage immigrant talent to help solve the state’s talent shortages. This accomplishment was the result of three years of advocacy and effort by Global Detroit and our regional partners.

Additionally, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s 60x30 plan is an initiative to ensure that 60% of Michigan’s working-age adults possess a skill certificate or college degree by 2030. Global Detroit led an effort in 2019 to develop a comprehensive immigrant inclusion strategy for the 60x30 plan, which would facilitate the addition of 100,000 immigrants to help meet the 60x30 goal. Michigan is now the first state to develop a comprehensive immigrant inclusion strategy to reach a post-secondary degree upskilling goal.
Global Detroit is expanding its Global Talent Retention Initiative (GTRI) to address unmet talent demands of Michigan employers, particularly in STEM-related areas. GTRI aims to connect international students to Michigan employers with these needs. In October 2022, Global Detroit released research documenting the significant growth of International Student Talent in the Michigan Workforce. Now, with the new State of Michigan investment, Michigan is in a prime position to lead the nation in assisting employers in tapping into international student talent.

Global Detroit has learned that immigrant inclusion is most impactful when policymakers, public sector actors, and private sector enterprises build it into their core strategic objectives and initiatives, instead of tackling it as an afterthought.

In 2022, we also saw the impact of a year’s worth of advocacy work come to fruition in the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s (MSHDA) Statewide Housing Plan (SHP). With Global Detroit at the table, the final plan includes more than three dozen provisions that will add immigrant inclusion into Michigan’s housing policies and programs.

Looking Ahead

As we move into our second decade of work, Global Detroit is expanding its advocacy efforts to ensure immigrant inclusion is integral to policy and strategy development. We aim to develop work environments, strategies, and programs that intentionally and meaningfully include immigrants and global talent, expanding the shared prosperity within and across the regional economy.

© 2023 Global Detroit
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© 2023 Global Detroit