The New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan has announced grants totaling nearly $720,000 to organizations working to retrain and find jobs for individuals displaced by the economic downturn and the ongoing troubles of the domestic auto industry.
As part of NEI's effort to increase opportunities in the defense and homeland security sectors, grants were awarded to the Michigan Security Network ($300,000) to recruit workers in the areas of bio-defense, cyber security, and border security; and Macomb Community College ($35,110) to conduct research on ways to grow defense industry-related businesses in Macomb County. Additional awards included $356,250 to the Michigan Opportunities and Resources for Entrepreneurs Program for its Statewide Entrepreneurship Support System and $25,000 to the Brookings Institution to develop a framing paper and peer-to-peer learning network that will help reposition the nation's auto manufacturing communities.
NEI is an eight-year, $100 million initiative created in 2007 by ten national, regional, and local foundations — including the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Ford, Kellogg, and Kresge foundations — to help restore southeast Michigan to a position of leadership in the global economy.
"To help move the region's economy forward in a meaningful way, NEI is working with a number of groups in the region to develop strategies around important sectors, including advanced manufacturing, alternative energy, defense and homeland security, health care, and transportation distribution and logistics," said NEI executive director David O. Egner. "It is essential that we capitalize on southeast Michigan's existing assets and resources to help build a stronger economy in our region."