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Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Maps its Strategy and Presents its Plans

Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority

130 E.Atwater Street Detroit,Michigan 48226

313-259-5091

June 18, 2019 – The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority has listened to its stakeholders and mapped the route to success. The plan was presented to a group of public and private sector representatives on Monday, June 10, and received with overwhelming support.

“With a strategy in hand, we’re eager to start living our mission in a more visible way,” said Kyle Burleson, DWCPA Executive Director. “We’re dedicated to bringing the Port of Detroit into the 21st century and setting it up to scale with the continued growth of our region. Timing to tackle this couldn’t be better with Federal funding being specifically designated for ports. To do all of this right, we will be bringing down old silos working on collective impact.”

Since the kick-off of the Port Forward initiative in March, three work groups were formed and used as a platform to collect input on infrastructure, business development, and government relations. Supporting research on best practices and expert interviews rounded out the situational analysis and allowed for strategic planning to commence. An emphasis on re-building relationship was set as a priority.

DWCPA Board President, Shannon Price, emphasized the work on relationships. “We realize the importance of communicating with other organizations to build -and keep- our reputation as an agency to support and partner with others for the good of our business community,” he said. “Our actions in the last few months have already yielded results with cooperative projects underway.”

To summarize the course of action over the next 18 months, the DWCPA presented its objectives. “First we want to develop a strategic relationship with Customs and Border Protection that enables growth of international cargo business for Michigan manufacturers,” said Burleson. Simultaneously, DWCPA will be prioritizing dock and security projects that will improve service in the current state of the port. Relationships continue to be critical and thus communications will be increased to address challenges and promote the port’s capabilities.

Looking to the mid-term, DWCPA will partner with stakeholders to delineate a recognizable “Port District” that caters to multi-modal industrial developments including warehousing, assembly, manufacturing, distribution, and storage. DWCPA would like to develop the Port District as site ready and market the property as the most unique industrial property in Michigan with port, rail, and freeway services. Simultaneously, strategic relationships with communities and economic development agencies from Wayne County, the City of Detroit, and throughout Downriver to embed a port culture for jobs, investment, and recreation will continue to grow. “Ultimately,” said Burleson, “we wish to establish the Port of Detroit as a statewide maritime thought leader. Through this objective, we will be at our best to assist port-related agencies and projects, as is our mission.”

Next steps for the DWCPA are to refine projects under review with partners, send a delegation to Washington D.C. to educate government officials on the Port of Detroit and lobby for Federal grant support and submit a grant application for the BUILD grant program in July.

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