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URC Contributes $958 Million and 11,600 Jobs in City of Detroit, Report Finds

According a report released today, titled “Engaging Detroit: URC’s Contributions to Resurgence in the Motor City,” URC universities have a tremendous impact on the city of Detroit as its residents. That impact amounted to $958 million in economic activity to the city of Detroit in 2015, or the equivalent of $1,400 per Detroit resident.

Beyond the numbers, the report documents the URC’s commitment to the people of Detroit through teaching and research, volunteer work, business incubators and other initiatives.

“The URC universities believe in the city of Detroit and the indomitable spirit of its people,” said URC Executive Director Jeff Mason. “Detroit’s resurgence is an ongoing effort that requires the tireless work of many for the betterment of the whole, and this report brings to light the important role that our three universities have played, and will continue to play, in that effort.”

Public Sector Consultants, who authored the report, uncovered more than 340 identified programs and initiatives in which the URC universities are engaged in Detroit. Nearly one third of those programs were focused on improving education. Other URC programs focused on the arts, community building, economic revitalization, community service and public health.

The report also found that the three universities that make up the URC – Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University – contributed roughly one in 20 jobs in Detroit, or more than 11,600 jobs.

Examples of university engagement in the city included:

  • Detroit Revitalization Fellows – Part of the Office of Economic Development at Wayne State University, the program is made up of talented, mid-career leaders stimulating progress within Detroit’s civic, community and economic development landscape. Detroit Revitalization Fellows recently received a $400,000 grant from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation to design an environmental project aimed at boosting the health and quality of life of Detroit residents.
  • The MSU Product Center – part of MSU Extension, which has been serving the people of Detroit since 1917, offers one-on-one business counseling and resources to assist food entrepreneurs as they commercialize, produce, package and distribute their products. It has held almost 2,000 counseling sessions in Detroit with more than 350 entrepreneurs, helping to create more than 100 jobs and supporting more than $11 million in investments.
  • Among U-M’s Detroit-based research projects, its School of Public Health is working to combat health issues like asthma and cardiovascular disease through a $2.8 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. To implement the grant, U-M public health researchers have partnered with academic peers and Detroit community organizations to form Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments (CAPHE), a collaborative initiative to help improve air quality and resident health in Detroit.

Read the full report here.