What's going to happen in 2009? Building the region's global reputation as a prime trading and distribution point will require all hands on deck.

 
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Seeking out and connecting our current transportation-related assets (geographical, industrial, political, manmade or otherwise) will help prepare our infrastructure for the future and boost our region for the economy and our citizens.

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When the Detroit Regional Chamber rolled out its TranslinkeD initiative, it highlighted three basic functions:

Education

Providing a centralized resource, for organizing data about our region's logistics advantages, the functions and benefits of these advantages and how we, as a region, connect to the global marketplace.

Communication

By identifying top transportation priorities in the region, the TranslinkeD initiative will continue to serve as both a platform for stakeholders to discuss ideas and as a resource for local media, policy makers and economic development groups.

Advocacy

Our region must work together as a multifaceted team with clear and consistent messages to our policy makers at all levels of government.

1 Developing an integrated regional transportation strategy

2 Communicating positive information for business development

3 Making our workforce training resources more accessible

4 Connecting with our institutions and job providers

Function 1:

What we learned

Both our capital and human assets are matched by few regions in the country. In addition to a robust physical infrastructure, we have a great knowledge infrastructure.

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We have an awareness challenge. Our business community doesn't understand the value of these assets--in other words, our communication infrastructure needs help.

Because communication is imperative to awareness, no region can succeed in any of its efforts without clearly delivering its message.

The current perception of our region's transportation system is that it is in need of an upgrade, and that requires investment.

Function 2:

How we communicate

Organizing our communications strategy and beginning to communicate through traditional media and marketing channels is a step in the right direction. As we work to raise visibility and awareness of the Chamber's TranslinkeD initiative and the logistics advantages of our region, we will have success in delivering these messages to the appropriate audiences.

Any policy initiative must engage interested parties at the onset of planning. The classic transportation story is a process that starts in year one and does not see implementation until some 10 to 20 years later. Much of this...

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