What came out of the Mackinac Policy Conference


MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — As the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s major policy conference wrapped up Friday, the group listed a number of action items for members and others to consider as they leave Mackinac Island.

It was the first time in 28 months that the chamber was able to get together for it biggest conference of the year. The pandemic changed much about the gathering, but the conference still produced a consensus about things that the community at large can work on until the next meeting.

The chamber’s chairman and CEO, Sandy Baruah, laid out the first item on the list:

“So the first one is that we’ve got a great convening platform to bring the businesses community, the philanthropic community, the civic and no-profit government community together to accelerate data-based — and that’s really critical — data-based collective action to better close our racial and social equity gaps in the region,” he said.

Other items include helping businesses reduce the impact of the pandemic and understanding how it has permanently changed work life and the workplace.

In addition, the action items include making sure that the is a bipartisan group of elected officials at Mackinac Policy Conference next year. This year’s attendance by lawmakers was limited because of session schedule is Lansing and Washington.

Finally, the chamber has set a goal to use its research to continue to explore upward mobility and job growth.

Whatever action that is to be taken will have to happen relatively quickly. Since this year’s conference was postponed because of the pandemic, the next such conference will be held in just more than seven months.

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