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MEDC Supports Challenge Detroit Program With $230,000 Grant

DETROIT -- Challenge Detroit, the year-long program that has attracted 30 young leaders to work, live, play and give in Detroit, has won a $230,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s LiveWorkDetroit initiative.

"The mission of the MEDC is to help businesses grow in Michigan through a variety of programs and particularly to help Michigan businesses find the talent they need to prosper here," said Michael A. Finney, MEDC president and CEO. "Challenge Detroit is bringing innovative young talents who we expect to positively impact the greater Detroit region as they work to encourage others to see Michigan as a great place to work and live."

The MEDC is the one arm of state government that is charged with marketing Michigan and developing programs that improve business climate, increase business investment and drive job creation in the state. Through the LWD program, Michigan employers are connected to degreed talent interested in staying in Michigan.

"LiveWorkDetroit does an amazing job of showcasing Michigan as a great place to live, work and play," said Dierdre Green Groves, executive director of Challenge Detroit. "The Challenge Detroit mission aligns perfectly with this MEDC initiative and through this partnership we will continue to retain and attract individuals to the greater Detroit region. For our inaugural program, two of our fellows were first introduced to Challenge Detroit at a LiveWorkDetroit! event. We're excited to continue working together with LiveWorkDetroit! to build awareness about the unique opportunities that exist in Detroit."

The MEDC grant funding will be utilized for Challenge Detroit's team development and leadership training; social, cultural and special events; and, for next year's recruitment process and orientation. As part of the partnership, Challenge Detroit will focus two of their 10 team challenges on MEDC initiatives, the Community Ventures - United Way challenge and the Global Michigan - Global Detroit challenge.

"I was attracted to this program because I believe Detroit is a mecca and model for urban revitalization efforts," said Marlo Staples, Challenge Detroit Fellow and a Detroit native who attended Mt. Holyoke College and returned to Detroit to participate in the program. "This is my hometown and I want to be a part of seeing it become great again. Through Challenge Detroit, I am truly involved in the revitalization of one of the most significant cities in the world."

Challenge Detroit is a new, national initiative focused on revitalizing the Detroit region by retaining and attracting innovative leaders who will bring their intellectual capital and talents to the City. During the year in Detroit, the fellows will gain new insights about the city and the greater region while sharing their story with the world through regular blogging, social media, videography, and personal connectivity. Through their experiences with Challenge Detroit, the goal is to keep these fellows here after the end of the year, but also for them to be ambassadors and advocates for all things Detroit engaging a wider audience to consider the community as a place they, too, can live, work, play, and give.

The Collaborative Group, a Birmingham-based non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, launched Challenge Detroit, an urban revitalization project for one of the most significant cities in the world. Challenge Detroit selected 30 innovative leaders from throughout the United States to live, work, play and give in Detroit for one year. Fellows live in Detroit, supported by a $500-a-month housing stipend; receive a $30,000 salary to work at one of the top companies in the region; participate in monthly team challenges, in partnership with area non-profits, designed to positively impact the city and region; and experience the city through organized social and cultural events. For more information, visit

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