The Grand Rapids Chamber and Global Detroit have partnered to advance immigrant economic development and inclusion policies in Grand Rapids, Kent County and West Michigan. Through this partnership, the organizations will craft policies and programs to build a more inclusive economy and spark growth, revitalization, and sustained prosperity in the region and across our state.
Among these new programs will be efforts to assist New Americans in maximizing and leveraging their skill sets while promoting best practices in the private sector. The goal is to assist West Michigan employers in hiring and retaining this talent base to fill unmet talent needs. In addition to assisting foreign-educated and trained workers in Kent County, the partnership will assist international students graduating from Michigan colleges and universities to connect with employers unable to fill critical talent needs. The partnership projects connecting with more than 50 employers and 250 New Americans with direct assistance within the first year.
The Grand Rapids Chamber has been a trusted ally and voice in efforts to leverage the business community’s voice into the immigration issue. The Chamber also has been a core partner and leader of local efforts through its leadership in developing Kent County’s Gateways for Growth plan.
“With talent being a top-of-mind issue for our business community and seeing more immigrant and refugees calling West Michigan home, partnering with Global Detroit makes so much sense,” said Omar Cuevas, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the Grand Rapids Chamber. “Last year, our community unveiled the Kent County Welcome Plan for New Americans and Refugees, this partnership is only one of the steps we are taking to creating a more inclusive economy and connecting employers to overseen talent pools.”
Global Detroit is a regional economic and community development organization. With a focus on immigrants and global talent, Global Detroit is widely viewed as a national leader in the emerging field of immigrant economic development and inclusion.
“The partnership between the Grand Rapids Chamber and Global Detroit will leverage each organization’s respective strengths,” said Steve Tobocman, Executive Director of Global Detroit. “We’re excited to utilize the Chamber’s existing business and community relationships and Global Detroit’s technical expertise to implement best practices in building a more inclusive economy.”
“Together, the Grand Rapids Chamber and Global Detroit were two of the key movers in creating the Michigan Business Compact on Immigration, as well as serving as key architects to drafting an immigrant inclusion strategy to Governor Whitmer’s 60×30 workforce development initiative. We look forward to building upon these early successes to roll our sleeves up with local programs to build a more inclusive and high-growth economy in the Grand Rapids region,” continued Tobocman.
For more information on the Kent County Welcome plan, view here.
About the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce:
The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce leads the business community in creating a dynamic, top-of-mind West Michigan region. Together with over 2,500 member businesses (80% of which are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees), we work to expand the influence, access, and information required to actively encourage entrepreneurial growth and community leadership. We offer the connections, resources, and insights needed to develop strong leaders, engage a diverse workforce, foster an inclusive and welcoming community, and advance a vibrant business environment that nurtures economic prosperity for all. Learn more at www.grandrapids.org.
About Global Detroit:
Global Detroit is a regional economic and community development organization. With a focus on immigrants and global talent, Global Detroit develops and implements inclusive strategies to drive the growth, revitalization and broadly shared prosperity of Detroit and Southeast Michigan. For more information, visit globaldetroitmi.org