Can Detroit’s Economic Growth Include Everyone?

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation CEO shares his vision for creating an inclusive economy in the city.

Host Bankole Thompson discusses crafting an inclusive economic environment with Rodrick Miller, the CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). They look at Detroit’s economic growth options and invite listeners to weigh in with their own experiences.

Rodrick Miller says his economic philosophy involves helping everyone in the city grow.

Economic advancement has to happen for everyone, if everyone can’t participate in the economic growth process then the process is a flawed process, it doesn’t mean that this is a handout but it is an opportunity.  

Rodrick Miller, CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

According to Miller, there needs to be a focus on what can be brought into the city and also on the businesses that are already here. This, he says, will create overall market growth. However, he notes that with all of Detroit’s problems and history, a strategy overhaul will be necessary before any real progress materializes.

“For economies that have been decimated and that have experienced population decline of the magnitude of Detroit, you’ve got to have dramatic shifts in strategy,” Miller says, “And so Detroit is not going to be the optimum Detroit that it can be with baby steps. There is going to have to be some momentous pushes to make the economy strong and viable over the long term.”

The city has many investment and equity instruments Miller says, but Detroit has yet to determine a way to maximize the impact of these efforts. Reviewing these options and finding ways to make them viable for both financially affluent and struggling residents is a crucial part of economic growth in future of Detroit, he says.

“We are keenly focused on bringing new investment to the city and creating job opportunities, and investment opportunities, for all Detroiters,” says Miller, “It is not an easy path, but we are working on it bit by bit and you will see the progress.”

Photo Credit: Andrew Jameson / CC