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Connecting to Community: DRRC and Let’s Detroit Luncheon Offers Insight on Talent Retention and Attraction

“How do we introduce people to a region that has a spectrum of opportunities, not only in diverse industries but in viable career pathways that will be supported by massive institutions?” said John Paul Rea, deputy county executive at Macomb County.

On Friday, March 29 the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted the Detroit Regional Relocation Council (DRRC), a local resource for global mobility solutions, for the 2019 First Quarter DRRC Educational Luncheon Program.

The meeting was an opportunity to share Let’s Detroit, a talent retention and cultivation program of the with the mission to increase retention of college graduates by 1% each year, helping achieve the Chamber’s goal of boosting postsecondary education attainment in the region to 60 percent by 2030—a goal shared by Gov. Whitmer. Panelists also shared a range of county-level talent retention and attraction tools with the attendees in the room: DRRC membership, corporate relocation managers, and relocation service providers in Southeast Michigan.

During the first panel, Rea and Jennifer Llewellyn, manager at Oakland County Workforce Department and Oakland County Michigan Works! discussed regional talent retention and attraction strategies and resources, like supporting the immigrant and refugee population, connecting young learners to diverse industries, capitalizing on regional partnerships, and more.

In the following panel, Let’s Detroit ambassadors, Ford Motor Company’s Jordan Butler, General Motor’s Hind Ourahou, and Ally’s Tim Gerstenberger spoke about their experiences as young professionals who have relocated to Detroit. From why they moved to the region in the first place to how they’ve adjusted, the panelists shared their personal stories and emphasized how relocation professionals can use the Let’s Detroit platform help out-of-state professionals quickly and deeply connect to the community around them.

“I was more comfortable because I had pillars,” said Ourahou. “It’s important that when you land in a new place that you have some sort of orientation.”

To that end, Let’s Detroit is a tool that can help newcomers build those pillars, by connecting them to people and communities across the region so they can grow their professional network, find engagement opportunities, and make a positive impact in the community.