New Solutions has spearheaded a nationally-recognized regional economic development initiative that focuses on how immigrants can be a regional job creation and economic growth catalyst. Steve Tobocman conducted a 15-month study commissioned by the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Skillman Foundation to analyze the economic impact that immigrants, refugees, and global connections have had on Metro Detroit’s economy and to identify potential strategies to take advantage of any opportunities. Since the completion of the study, New Solutions has helped to secure over $4 million in philanthropic investments to launch programs identified in the study, developing innovative initiatives that place Detroit as a national leader in immigrant attraction and recruitment.
Throughout the Global Detroit process, New Solutions has built numerous collaborative efforts where none existed, including the Global Detroit Study Advisory Board, the Welcome Mat network of immigrant and refugee service providers, the Welcoming Michigan campaign, and an innovative collaboration among community development groups and neighborhood stakeholders to deliver micro-enterprise training, lending, and development (ProsperUS Detroit). New Solutions has pioneered a regional communications strategy to change the region’s attitudes towards immigrants and internationals. The strategy utilizes the Global Detroit website, Welcome Mat guide to immigration services, social media, cultural ambassador events, conferences, and direct engagement of residents through the Welcoming Michigan efforts.