Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation receives Innovative Program Grant from Michigan College Access Network

The grant will support efforts to increase the percentage of adults in 

metro Detroit who have some college and no credential

March 19, 2019 - LANSING, Mich.— The Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation in Detroit, Michigan was awarded an Innovative Program Grant by the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). This $20,000 award will be used to provide best practices for businesses to support adults with some education, but no degree, and provide solutions to develop talent and help adults complete their degrees. This effort is a part of the Detroit Drives Degrees campaign.

According to The Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation, this grant-funded initiative seeks to: 

  1. Distribute a national Bridging the Talent Gap Survey to more than 200 employers to track employer supports in education;
  2. Develop a toolkit and case studies of best practices to promote within industry areas; and
  3. Promote the importance of this issue to encourage other businesses to implement solutions that develop talent and complete degrees.

More than 690,000 adults in the metropolitan Detroit region have some college education, but did not earn a college degree.

“A staggering amount of adults in metro Detroit began their journey to earn their college degree, but were unable to finish. This grant provides critical funding to assist businesses develop best practices to support adults in Detroit to finish their college education,” said Sarah Craft, manager of Detroit Drives Degrees at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “MCAN’s Innovative Program Grant will allow us to increase our efforts to develop and utilize data to track how employers can help employees who decide to further their education.” 

Innovative Program Grants are designed to fund programming that increases college readiness, enrollment, and completion in local communities and across the state. MCAN has awarded more than $286,000 in 31 different Innovative Program Grants to organizations throughout the state since 2016.

“Adults who began the process of earning a degree need the opportunity to complete that journey, and The Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation’s initiative is an important step to helping those adults,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, interim executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “Gov. Whitmer announced a statewide goal to increase the college-going rate in our state to 60 percent. To achieve the governor’s goal, and better our state, we need to broaden our focus to help more than just students. This grant will provide valuable insights into what we can do to help working adults finish and earn their college degrees.”



As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41 percent in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 45 percent as of 2019. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit


The Detroit Regional Chamber is a well connected and influential force powering the economy for Southeast Michigan. Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. Chamber activities and initiatives are centered on four strategic pillars: economic development, regional collaboration, education reform and member value. For more information, visit

Media Contact: 
Christopher Tremblay
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