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We're WIRED! $5 million grant will promote workforce development.

The Detroit Regional Chamber has received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to transform our economy by implementing workforce development, economic expansion and entrepreneurial growth initiatives across Southeast Michigan.

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The grant is the result of the Detroit Region's designation last year as a Second Generation Workforce Innovation and Regional Economic Development (WIRED) community--one of 13 such designations across the United States.

WIRED is an initiative by the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration to integrate economic and workforce development activities and demonstrate that talent development can drive economic transformation.

Working in collaboration with other organizations across Southeast Michigan (see list on page 11), the Chamber is in charge of overseeing the local WIRED initiative. The partners will have access to key resources, including priority status for various federal funding opportunities and intensive technical support.

The $5 million grant, announced in January, will support programs, services and technology that advance the goal of creating a world-class workforce and improving economic development in the Detroit Region. In addition, the Detroit initiative is getting $500,000 up front to convene partners, re-examine priorities and develop a new blueprint for moving forward.

"Developing a talented, well-educated workforce is a top priority as the Chamber helps its members compete in the 21st century economy," said Chamber President and CEO Richard E. Blouse Jr., CCE. "This grant will provide much-needed funding for the many collaborative initiatives underway to transform the Detroit Region's economy in the face of the intense global competition confronting Michigan."

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The process began in 2005 when the Chamber spearheaded a collaborative effort to secure federal funds for workforce development. Gov. Jennifer Granholm designated the Chamber as the official "convenor" of the proposal that was ultimately approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

In making the announcement, Granholm said the WIRED initiative gives Detroit and the surrounding region "access to a wealth of resources that will assist in creating high-skill and high-wage jobs."

In December 2006, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor Emily Stover DeRocco came to Detroit to formally designate Southeast Michigan as a WIRED region and meet with business and community leaders at a kick-off event.

Now that the grant has been secured, key stakeholders from across Southeast Michigan will determine the best strategies for addressing the region's workforce and economic development needs.

RELATED ARTICLE: Key Southeast Michigan WIRED partners

Automation Alley

Cyber Michigan

Detroit Area PreCollege Engineering Program

Detroit Regional Chamber

Detroit Renaissance

Eastern Michigan University

Henry Ford Community College

Macomb County Community College

Michigan Works!

Oakland Community College

Oakland University

Project Lead the Way

Small Business Technology and Development Center

SPARK

TechTown

University of Michigan

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Wayne County Community College

Wayne State University

Only 26 regions nationwide were selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to participate in the WIRED initiative, a three-year national demonstration project and part of the president's American Competitiveness Initiative. Thirteen regions received a full project designation and funding. Another 13, including Southeast Michigan, were designated as Second Generation regions.

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Title Annotation:FOR OUR MEMBERS; Detroit Regional Chamber gets $5 million grant from the Department of Labor
Publication:Detroiter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2007
Words:509
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