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Submitted by Kim Hill, Director of Center for Automotive Research, Sustainability and Economic Development Strategies Group.

Roads to Renewal II

Partnering is the critical element

It’s been a tough couple of years, but there are signs the economy is improving. Consumer confidence is returning. Many companies are beginning to invest in research and development and production capacity—especially in the manufacturing and automotive sectors. Perhaps the best sign of health is that the companies are hiring once again. The key question for communities is: are there things that they can do right now to capitalize on these opportunities and revitalize their economies?

The most successful communities are those that partner with their employers for mutual gain. To highlight the importance of these public-private partnerships, the Center for Automotive Research through its Automotive Communities Partnership is hosting the second Roads to Renewal conference entitled, “Partnering for Prosperity: Communities & Companies in the Resurging Automotive Economy.”

The conference will focus on critical issues facing communities and companies—including strategies to improve access to capital, foster job growth, repurpose vacant industrial facilities, grow local businesses, work effectively with schools, colleges and universities, and package policies and assets in ways that attract additional private sector investments. Most importantly, the conference will provide high-value networking opportunities and highlight effective models that will enable attendees to adapt and use what they’ve learned in their own communities.

“We are drawing on years of experience working through the Automotive Communities Partnership to set an agenda showcasing experts who will illuminate the opportunities and recommend actionable initiatives to prepare for the coming surge of automotive investment,” said Kim Hill, conference organizer and director of CAR’s Sustainability and Economic Development Strategies group.

Roads to Renewal II will take place March 29-30, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency, in Dearborn, Michigan. Hosted by CAR, the event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), and presented in collaboration with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and the University of Michigan’s Institute for Labor, Employment and the Economy. Learn more at roadstorenewal.cargroup.org.