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The Milken Institute’s Michigan Resilient Investment Strategy Summit Catalyzes New Initiatives for Regional Economic Resilience

News Release
The Milken Institute’s Michigan Resilient Investment Strategy Summit Catalyzes New Initiatives for Regional Economic Resilience
Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II among key government officials, partners, and investors who participated to drive long-term resilience and economic growth in the region

Detroit, MI (February 22)—Continuing its efforts to help thousands of underserved urban and rural communities across the United States access the funding, capacity, and talent they need to support critical community infrastructure projects, the Milken Institute’s 10,000 Communities Initiative held the Resilient Michigan Investment Strategy Summit in Detroit today. 

In the year since it launched, the 10,000 Communities Initiative has held a series of regional training events with business, government, philanthropic, and community leaders and capital providers across the United States in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Sacramento, and in the Northwest.

“The purpose of these events are to link together investors, technical assistance experts, and community leaders to seize this moment to build shovel-worthy and investment-ready project pipeline in Michigan and across the U.S. for the next decade,” said Dan Carol, Senior Director at the Milken Institute.

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II and US Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves were among the featured speakers at the event, which brought together public, private, and philanthropic leaders for a series of conversations to drive long-term resilience and economic growth in the region and announce more than $835 million in new investments for the state.

As part of Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Gilchrist Administration’s Make It In Michigan agenda, the launch of the Michigan Battery Challenge was announced during the summit, a $125 million investment to inspire new ideas and companies to accelerate battery breakthroughs. “Michigan will lead the future of advanced manufacturing as we make more electric cars, batteries, chips, and clean energy,” said Governor Whitmer. “Thanks to record investments by the Biden-Harris Administration, we are competing to bring home federal resources and projects that will create good-paying local jobs, shore up our energy independence, and bring critical supply chains home to Michigan from overseas. Let’s keep getting it done.”

The event featured breakout sessions designed to help more communities and businesses create public-private partnerships.  This included information on how both non-profits, cities, communities, and businesses can access tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Speaking on the “American-Made Clean Energy” panel, Director Jigar Shah of the US Department of Energy Loan Program discussed the effects of $710 million in new loans for Michigan businesses and utilities announced this week to ensure energy security and long-term prosperity for Michigan businesses and families. “These projects reinforce our deep commitment to growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out—from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.”  

In partnership with other private and public organizations, the Milken Institute supports the 10,000 Communities Initiative to ensure that cross-sectoral attention, federal technical assistance funding, and impact capital are effectively deployed to the underserved communities that need it most.  Its expanding Community Infrastructure Center (CIC) platform offers free tools and training resources to help interested communities access the expertise, training, capital, and partnerships required to advance their community infrastructure projects.  

Explained Hector Negroni, CEO of Fundamental Credit and co-chair of the Milken Institute’s Public Finance Advisory Council: “In the last few years, the federal government has approved an unprecedented amount of funding and tax incentives to invest in critical community infrastructure projects through the Opportunity Zones Act, the American Rescue Plan Act, the Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPs and Science Act. Effective deployment of this funding depends on how well communities can access these funds and partner with the private sector. The Milken Institute’s efforts to make these critical cross-sectoral connections through the 10,000 Communities Initiative is an important catalyst for future economic resilience.”

The Detroit Summit was made possible with the support of the Siemens Foundation, Ford Foundation, and BuildUS to help Michigan and Midwest communities accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation, resilient infrastructure.  Additional partners included the Rocky Mountain Institute, the State of Michigan Labor and Opportunity Office, and SustainabiliD.   

Justin Maxson, executive director of BuildUS explained: “We are excited to support the work the Milken Institute is doing to facilitate partnerships in Michigan that drive equitable federal and private investments that put people first on the path to a clean energy future.”  

"The nation’s clean energy economy will not succeed without strategic investment in America’s great resource—working families,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. The Siemens Foundation is partnering with Detroit-based Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program and MUST Workforce Solutions to provide EV infrastructure training and certification to existing, qualified electricians and to engage workers from underserved communities with EV-related curriculum through Skillfusion and paid Electric Fast Track career exploration in the electrical industry through local labor partners. 

The Summit concluded with keynote remarks from US Commerce Secretary Don Graves, who highlighted the importance of US regional strategies and bipartisan passage of the CHIPs Act which is meant to inspire near-shoring of American manufacturing. “World-class companies require world-class talent – talent that is abundant in all communities, Graves said. “President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is about unlocking potential and opportunity in every corner of the country so American workers can secure good-paying jobs close to home. With the support and creativity of communities like Detroit, we can seize this moment to help drive the country’s competitiveness and resilience as we look to the future.”

“We hope the 10,000 Communities Initiative will continue to facilitate the effective and equitable distribution of resources to traditionally underfunded community projects, support long-term infrastructure and economic resilience, and scale up an exciting new community pipeline of projects,” said Carol. “Today’s Summit is an important step towards ensuring that public and private funding reach the communities who need it the most.”


About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on accelerating measurable progress on the path to a meaningful life. With a focus on financial, physical, mental, and environmental health, we bring together the best ideas and innovative resourcing to develop blueprints for tackling some of our most critical global issues through the lens of what’s pressing now and what’s coming next. For more information about the Milken Institute and the 10,000 Communities Initiative, visit or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram