Future of Work Town Hall | Creating Communities: The Path to Placemaking

One Detroit Hosts Future of Work Town Hall on Placemaking in Southeast Michigan

From Detroit’s Campus Martius and Riverwalk districts to vibrant developing downtown corridors in Detroit’s suburbs, like Clawson, urban planners, developers and city officials in Southeast Michigan have begun the placemaking process in an attempt to attract and retain workforce talent and provide residents with a greater quality of life, but have the state’s efforts paid off?

Future of Work Town Hall host, and One Detroit’s associate producer, Will Glover is joined by TechTown President & CEO Ned Staebler, Detroit Future City Chief Executive Officer Anika Goss, Author of “Reimagining Detroit” and former Detroit Free Press Senior Business Columnist John Gallagher, and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Planning Director Kevin Vettraino for a conversation about whether Southeast Michigan has the infrastructure, amenities and investments to attract and retain the future of workforce talent.

Plus, Glover and the group of panelists examine the barriers against placemaking efforts, how the future of work intersects with residents’ quality of life, the need for strategic city planning and public transit, and whether Michigan’s current investments will be enough to keep young professionals in the state.

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Future of Work Town Hall Participants:

Future of Work Town Hall Host | Will Glover, Associate Producer, One Detroit

For Detroit Public TV’s Future of Work initiative, One Detroit news and current events producer Will Glover leads conversations with business, economic, education, human resources, and policy experts to dive deep into Michigan’s workplace, workforce and the work itself to understand how we could create, retain and attract the talent needed to innovate and make Michigan a competitive top ten state across multiple industries.

Glover studied film at Eastern Michigan University and received his Associate Degree in Digital Video Production & Documentary Film from Washtenaw Community College. Whether it’s underwriting voice-overs or producing stories for One Detroit, you’ll hear his voice throughout Detroit Public TV programming. Glover’s focus is on his craft: finding the stories and voices that capture the truth.

Guest Panelist | Ned Staebler, President & CEO, TechTown Detroit

Ned Staebler headshotNed Staebler serves as Vice President for Economic Development at Wayne State University and as President and CEO of TechTown, Detroit’s most established business incubator and accelerator. He leads both organizations’ efforts to strengthen the Detroit region’s neighborhoods, businesses and leaders, overseeing a range of activities around innovation and entrepreneurship, business development and attraction, talent retention, transit and mobility, and placemaking.

Ned previously served as the Vice President for Entrepreneurial and Capital Services at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. In this role, he was responsible for the oversight of the Michigan Strategic Fund Board and the 21st Century Jobs Fund, a $2 billion, 10-year initiative to transform Michigan’s economy. Ned also spent nearly a decade in the private sector, working in both startup and Fortune 150 environments in the U.S. and London.

Guest Panelist | Anika Goss, Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Future City

Anika Goss headshot Anika Goss is the Chief Executive Officer of Detroit Future City (DFC), a think-and-do tank focused on land use and sustainability, community and economic development, and economic equity in Detroit. Anika leads a team of experts to implement the DFC Strategic Framework, a comprehensive 50-year guide to decision-making and investment in Detroit. Anika Goss is a leading force and visionary in Detroit’s revitalization, playing a crucial role in Detroit as an advocate for an equitable and sustainable future for the city.

Since taking the helm of DFC, Anika has repositioned the organization to be laser-focused on the equitable implementation of its community and economic development and land use and sustainability departments and launched the Center for Equity, Engagement, and Research. Anika has led the development of several significant research studies, including the 2019 release of “Growing Detroit’s African-American Middle Class” and the 2021 release of “The State of Economic Equity in Detroit” along with a web-based dashboard that tracks overtime six indicators that illustrate the deep disparities that exist in Detroit and the region. She also has helped bolster the future of Detroit’s land use and sustainability through awarding over $330,000 in grants aimed at accelerating vacant land revitalization in Detroit and developing a dynamic community educational network of nearly 50 neighborhood leaders and nonprofits to develop standardized green stormwater infrastructure practices.

Anika joined the DFC after nearly 25 years of leadership in national and local roles in community development and non-profit management, and has previously worked at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) for 16 years, as well as with the City of Detroit as its Director of Philanthropic Affairs and Executive Director of Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative.

Anika’s leadership has been recognized in Detroit and nationally. Crain’s Detroit Business honored Anika as a Most Influential Women, a Notable Women in Non-Profits and a Forty under 40, The Michigan Chronicle recognized Anika as a Woman of Excellence, and she was awarded by Corps! Magazine as a Diversity Champion. She has a master’s of social work in community organizing degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s of sociology and African-American studies degree from Purdue University.

Guest Panelist | John Gallagher, Author and Veteran Journalist

John Gallagher HeadshotJohn Gallagher is a veteran journalist and author of “Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City,” which was named by the Huffington Post as among the best social and political books of 2010. His most recent book is “Yamasaki in Detroit: A Search for Serenity,” chronicles a biography of architect Minoru Yamasaki best known for creating Detroit’s One Woodward skyscraper and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch.

Born in New York City, Gallagher eventually migrated to Michigan and landed a job at the Detroit Free Press in 1987,  covering urban and economic redevelopment efforts in Detroit and Michigan. Gallagher has since left the Detroit Free Press, penning his final column in December 2019. He is a 2017 inductee into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. John and his wife, Sheu-Jane, live along Detroit’s east riverfront.

Guest Panelist | Kevin Vettraino, Planning Director, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)

Kevin Vettraino headshot Kevin Vettraino is the Director of Planning for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). He is responsible for leading and coordinating SEMCOG planning initiatives focusing on developing, executing, evaluating, and adapting plans that meet the organization’s key mission of regional planning and intergovernmental affairs. Kevin has been with SEMCOG since 2006. As the Director of Planning, he oversees the departments of Economic and Community Vitality, Environment and Infrastructure, Transportation Modeling and Mobility, Transportation Planning and Programming, and Data Analysis.

Prior to joining SEMCOG, Kevin worked as a Legislative Assistant for United States Representative Fred Upton. In this position, he specialized in education, workforce development, veteran’s affairs, agriculture, housing, and environmental policy issues.

Kevin has a Master’s in Urban Planning from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and English from Western Michigan University. He received his AICP certification from the American Planning Association and currently belongs to the American Planning Association and the American Planning Association: Michigan Chapter.

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