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GLIN==> Brookings Alert to Great Lakes Media: Shapping the regionwide economic policy agenda

Title: Brookings Alert to Great Lakes Media
Brookings Media Memorandum

February 7, 2008


Next week, more than 40 CEOs and staff from 30 of the Great Lakes region?s leading business organizations will come together to map out a joint region-wide economic policy agenda. The leadership group is looking to use its combined clout to inform federal and state/provincial policies on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border, as well as focus special attention on the 2008 US Presidential political campaign, in which the US Great Lakes are important swing states.


The event is co-hosted by the presidents of the Detroit, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Toledo Chambers of Commerce, the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute, and The Henry Ford.


Media are invited to attend the opening briefing, reception and dinner on Monday evening


WHAT:         Opening reception and dinner of the Chambers of Commerce Summit Meeting

WHEN:        Monday, February 11, 2008, 5:00-8:00 pm

WHERE:       The Henry Ford

                        Presidents Conference Room

209000 Oakwood Blvd

Dearborn, MI,

[just west of the Southfield Freeway (M-39) and south of Michigan Avenue (US-12).  A map can be found at http://www.hfmgv.org/visit/directions.asp]  


The metropolitan regions of the Midwest face many common challenges in the transition from leadership of the industrial economy, to renewed leadership in today?s knowledge economy. But the region has significant economic assets to build on including world leading research and education institutions, a huge bi-national business base and marketplace, and unique natural resources that include the Great Lakes themselves.


A private day-long work session is planned for Tuesday the 12th is to allow the Chamber leadership to design and advance federal and state/regional policies central to the economic success of our Midwest region.


It is anticipated that the group will focus on proposals to advance research and commercialization of new technologies and firms in energy, freshwater, advanced manufacturing, life and bio-science; redeveloping urban infrastructure; reversing the ?brain-drain? of young talent; pension and health care reform; border and economic issues with Canada, and opportunities for water-based development.


The starting point for the discussion is recently released work of the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, including: Blueprint for American Prosperity: Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation and The Vital Center: A Federal-State Compact to Renew the Great Lakes Region, which focuses on the particular economic challenges and opportunities of the 12-state, 2 Canadian province - Great Lakes Economic region. Both reports are available at www.brookings.metro/edu.


Participants confirmed include Chamber leadership from Pittsburgh, Erie, and the Greater Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; Albany and Syracuse, New York; Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Toledo, Youngstown-Warren, and Cincinnati, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Kalamazoo, and Lansing, Michigan; Chicago and Rockford, Illinois, Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as Toronto, Niagara, Windsor and Kitchener, Ontario.




Dick Blouse, President                                   Barbara McNees, President

Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce     Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce


Jerry Roper, President                                               Tim Sheehy, President

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce                       Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of



Mark V? Soske, President                               Soji Adelaja, Director

Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce     MSU ? Land Policy Institute



For more information contact:


Michelle Daniels, Media Relations

Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program

mdaniels@brookings.edu, (202) 797-6270


John Austin, Great Lakes Economic Initiative Director

Brookings Institution Non-Resident Senior Fellow

jcaustin@umich.edu, (734) 763-2249, or cell: 517-881-3231