Detroit Regional Partnership Draws Nearly $1B in Investment, 5,000 Jobs

The Detroit Regional Partnership today released its 2021 annual report, which showed the nonprofit economic development organization secured 21 projects for the region.
Detroit Skyline from Canada
The Detroit Regional Partnership drove nearly $1 billion in investments in the Detroit region in 2021. // Stock Photo

The Detroit Regional Partnership today released its 2021 annual report, which showed the nonprofit economic development organization secured 21 projects for the region.

The partnerships states its activity created or supported more than 5,000 jobs and drove nearly $1 billion in investment and construction output in the 11-county Detroit region.

“The Detroit Regional Partnership is really hitting its stride as we enter just our third full year of operations,” says Maureen Donohue Krauss, president and CEO of the DRP. “We are helping businesses move at the speed of the market as they simultaneously evaluate available talent and select the perfect site for their operations.”

The total economic impact also includes a $293 million increase in payroll, $913.5 million in investment and construction output, and 1,153 pathway jobs. As a result of the 21 project wins — nine of which are international companies, while 12 are domestic — the activity contributed 2,146 direct jobs, $363.4 million in investment, $102.9 million in new payroll, and 653 pathway jobs.

“While the pandemic is limiting some international deals, we are experiencing one of the hottest industrial markets in the past 50 years and companies are showing a lot of interest,” says Justin Robinson, senior vice president of business development for the DRP. “We continue to proactively engage prospects, so they understand the depth of talent and assets that make this region so innovative.”

Last year, the DRP executed a hybrid business development strategy by participating in more than 60 virtual or in-person trade missions, delegations, and conferences as public health guidelines allowed.

Resuming in-person travel in May 2021, the DRP notched most of its project wins in the autonomous and electric mobility, smart manufacturing, and tech sectors. Key expansion and development projects included: Yanfeng in Highland Park, Pace Industries in Novi, XL Fleet in Wixom, and AGP E-Glass in Canton Township.

By year’s end, the DRP will participate in more than 30 trade missions and shows, up to eight international delegations, and 28 site selector engagements, mixing in virtual and in-person formats.

In 2021, the DRP created a new talent solutions department. The department plays a unique role by streamlining workforce evaluation and providing an overall assessment of the Detroit region’s talent from a regional perspective rather than municipality by municipality. As companies work with the DRP’s business development team to identify where to locate, the DRP’s talent solutions professionals help them lay the blueprint to find the workers they need.

The DRP’s Verified Industrial Properties (VIP by DRP) program, built in 2021, provides an easily navigable catalog of vacant industrial sites in the Detroit region, conveniently indicating a site’s readiness for future industrial development. This program arms potential investors with verified information about the conditions of a vacant industrial site, which helps them quickly assess the feasibility of each site and ultimately leads to more investment in the region.

By 2030, the DRP has set goals of drawing 50,000 new direct jobs and 12,000 new pathway jobs, $10 billion in investment and construction output, and $2 billion in new payroll.

“Over the first three years of our work together, we’ve gotten off to a good start. We’ve delivered thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in investments,” says Gerry Anderson, executive chairman of DTE, and chairman of the DRP board of directors. “But honestly, we are still only scratching the surface.”