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Chamber Blog

Our Grand Rapids Chamber Advocacy: Talent, Infrastructure & Housing

Results of the Grand Rapids Chamber’s 2020 Government Affairs Survey are in.

A talented workforce, quality infrastructure, and regional housing supply are the top three issues for West Michigan businesses as we enter 2020 from more than 400 Chamber members.

In this year’s survey, over 94% of respondents said that our West Michigan business climate was either favorable or very favorable- a slight uptick from last year. 65% of this year’s respondents represented small or mid-sized businesses.

Our Grand Rapids Chamber Advocacy: Talent, Infrastructure & Housing 1Our Grand Rapids Chamber Advocacy: Talent, Infrastructure & Housing

Talented Workforce

This issue has been a top barrier for business for some time. The Chamber is actively engaged in policy and practices to combat this regional and statewide issue for businesses.

  • Going Pro Talent Fund: The Going Pro Talent Fund has been instrumental in helping our region’s business’s meet their needs and gives employees an opportunity to upskill themselves for new opportunities. The GR Chamber has been a leader in advocacy on this important topic. Even though this talent program has proven itself effective, the Going Pro Talent Fund’s FY 2020 funding was line item vetoed. Tell your State Senator and Representative how important this program is to your business!
  • Child Care: The GR Chamber has pulled together a statewide coalition to move the needle on child care. While a lot of work has been done to help families secure high-quality childcare in recent years, we must do more to make sure families have access to affordable care for their children. If this is an issue you care about or want to learn more about, please let us know.
  • MI Reconnect & MI Opportunity: The Grand Rapids Chamber, along with other statewide business organizations, have been involved in the crafting of both the Michigan Reconnect initiative and the MI Opportunity Scholarship initiative, introduced by Governor Whitmer in her 2019 State of the State Address. Your Chamber is committed to ensuring these programs are efficient and effective while closing our talent gap.

Infrastructure

The Chamber is working with other business organizations, the Legislature and the Governor’s office to identify and support a feasible, long-term solution for Michigan’s vital infrastructure network. This includes discussions on the use of current revenues and additional user-fees to adequately fund a system that supports business growth and market connectivity.

Grand Rapids & Kent County Housing Needs Assessment

The Chamber has partnered with the City of Grand Rapids, K-Connect & Housing Next to launch a regional Housing Needs Assessment to provide in-depth details about the market area, economic characteristics and trends, and housing stock inventory and market conditions. The study will also include a housing gap analysis, an overview of priority areas of need and various strategies to address these issues.

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