Led by Detroit Drives Degrees, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Detroit Talent Hub brings together the public, private, and social sector to improve the education and talent system in southeast Michigan. Focused on reducing equity gaps by half, the Detroit Talent Hub is known for their bold actions that connect business and education stakeholders to improve outcomes through practice and policy change. Detroit Drives Degrees focuses on two goals: increase the postsecondary attainment rate to 60% and reduce the racial equity gap by half by 2030.
The Detroit Talent Hub created the first debt forgiveness program in the country.
Designed and implemented by Wayne State University, the nation’s first debt forgiveness program wipes out up to $1,500 of a student’s past due balance to reduce barriers to re-enrollment. Combined with robust academic advising and wrap-around supports, hundreds more adults that left the institution before completing their degree have a path back to and through higher education.
The program, which has proven to have a 120%+ ROI for Wayne State, has now been scaled regionally, with over five higher education institutions offering similar programs.
The Detroit Talent Hub exceeded their credential completion goal for adults by 269% over a two-year period.
Working with five higher education institutions, the Detroit Talent Hub set a credential completion goal for adults over the age of 25 of 3,060. Due to a suite of system-level strategies that reduced barriers to access and completion, a total of 8,241 adult learners completed a high-quality credential over a two-year period.
The Compact’s vision is a Detroit with systems, policies, and resources that allow every resident to access and succeed in postsecondary education, leading to careers that fill the region’s talent needs. It strives to improve social mobility that empowers residents to earn a family-sustaining wage and contribute to the economic and social well-being of their communities.
Launched in October 2020, 35 statewide and regional partners announced their chosen strategies and commitments to the compact and the dual goals of education attainment and racial equity. The strategies focus on access to education, increasing student success in postsecondary programs, supporting adults as they enter or return to college, and supporting regional businesses as they retain and upskill current workers while attracting new talent.
The Detroit Drives Degrees Community College Collaborative is a systems-building partnership focused on driving equitable change for residents of southeast Michigan. Focused on the three clusters of student success, K12 alignment, and pathways into the mobility sector, D3C3 brings together community colleges, employers, intermediaries, school districts, and philanthropy to make policy and practice change.
Wayne State University is one of many partners in the Detroit Talent Hub working to create a stronger regional talent system in southeast Michigan. In addition to their work to clarify postsecondary pathways and improve public transit infrastructure connecting to educational opportunities, Wayne State created one of the nation’s first debt forgiveness programs called Warrior Way Back. The program, which cancels up to $1,500 of outstanding institutional debt for qualifying students who re-enroll, has led to significant gains in credential completion among students who have some college credit but no degree. The program has become a national model that has been replicated at over 40 higher education institutions around the country, and has proven to have a positive ROI for colleges and universities.