D3 and the “New Macomb”

Next time you’re near a newsstand, be sure to check out Macomb NOW Magazine’s article “The Land of Opportunity: The ‘New’ Macomb County”:

In 2011, the Detroit metropolitan economic and political leadership “discovered” Macomb County. At a political event held last October, United States Senator Carl Levin raised some eyebrows when he observed that Macomb County is “coming into its own.” For the more than 1,000 people who gathered at Macomb Community College’s Center Campus in Dec. 2011 to attend new County Executive Mark Hackel’s State of the County Address, there was a sense of anticipation of positive growth for the county. One of those in attendance was Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, whose presence at the event symbolizes the new respect the county is gaining in regional circles.

In a similar vein, Crain’s Business Detroit reported on the “State of Macomb County: Economy rebounds as median income drops” (subscription required):

Macomb County is in a full economic recovery — adding population and jobs and growing “on its roots” in automotive manufacturing. But the resurgence has done little for household incomes, and the county still faces threats outside its borders, president [Jim Jacobs] of Macomb Community College said last week in delivering a forecast for the county.

Check out Jim Jacobs’ presentation here.

The common element in both, beyond the obvious geographic focus, is the partnership between the County and Data Driven Detroit. As described in our just-released annual report:

D3, through a grant from The Kresge Foundation, is providing data to the Macomb County Executive Office and Macomb County Community College to assist their plan for the “New Macomb.” Since 2000, Macomb County has experienced changes, such as increasing racial diversity, and challenges, such as a protracted economic recession. D3’s role is to gather data about change in the county to inform Macomb executives so that they may more effectively address the county’s needs.

Data collected to date were utilized as important components of Jim Jacob’s Economic forecast, and Kurt Metzger co-authored the Macomb NOW article with Jim and Al Lorenzo from the County Executive’s office.

Data Driven Detroit’s mission is better data for better decisions throughout the Detroit region and beyond.  Our work in Macomb serves as just one more example of our commitment to the mission.