Job-creation initiative builds state’s creative industries

Selam Ghirmai

Friday, May 26, 2017

For MFDMO, it’s time to get creative when it comes to persuading those who work in the creative industries to stay in or move to the Great Lakes state.

For the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office (MFDMO), it’s simply time to get creative when it comes to persuading those who work in the creative industries to stay in Michigan, or by all means, move to the Great Lakes state.

In response to contemporary job consideration realities – such as new and existing talent wanting to live, work and invest in vibrant, engaging communities – MFDMO is introducing Creative Chambers initiative, a grassroots-driven, pilot program to retain and attract creative industries talent in five diverse Michigan communities, including the Ann Arbor/Washtenaw County, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Marquette and Traverse City.

In total, nearly $1.5 million will be shared among the five regions as part of a tailored approach to attract and retain the talent driving Michigan’s creative economy.

“Creativity is an essential part of the state’s heritage of innovation which can be seen from the automotive industry to the arts,” said MFDMO Commissioner Jenell Leonard. “Further building the creative economy is a central part of fostering the entrepreneurial spirit and culture that makes Michigan a great place to live and work.”

The grants provide incentive for communities to develop strategies that can be sustained beyond the three-year funding period. Further, the partnership between MFDMO and the communities aims to build the brand, “Michigan: State of Creativity,” as a means to cultivate a positive reputation for the region and state.

Considering the geographic and cultural diversity of the state, Creative Chambers offers a tailored approach to specifically attracting and retaining talent that works in the many creative industry occupations.

“Creative Chambers pilot program is a flexible, yet uniformed approach that requires community input to determine the best way to promote a region’s assets and employment opportunities for creative types while connecting to the broader economic statewide trends,” said Leonard.

The state’s creative economy employs nearly 90,000 people, according to Michigan Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of those employed in the state’s creative industries are Millennials, born after 1982, and working in film, audiovisual and broadcasting; design; creative technology; fashion, garment and textile; advertising; literary, publishing and print; architecture; music; art schools, artists and agents; performing arts; culture and heritage; and, visual arts and craft.

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