In one short year, the Detroit Development Center (DDC) has created 234 new jobs in the city of Detroit. In some circles, that is enough to celebrate yet everyone attending today’s ribbon cutting ceremony (with the biggest pair of scissors I’ve ever seen) also celebrated and underscored the partnership it took to bring this center to life.
The DDC is a part of Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3) and was started as an innovative way for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) to trim their information technology costs without shipping jobs overseas. And Daniel J. Loepp, President and CEO of BCBCM could not be happier with the results.
“This is doing what we had hoped for, retaining good quality jobs in the city of Detroit,” said Loepp.
In addition to keeping IT jobs in Detroit, Loepp explained why the decision to work with S3 was a wise business decision. He noted that even with the demonstrated commitment from BCBSM to be a part of the downtown business core in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit, these decisions still need to make good business sense. And, this arrangement does. Loepp stated that the partnership with S3 has resulted in a business savings of $14 million in the past year.
Rep. Hansen Clarke underscored that partnerships like this are a key for diversifying the metropolitan Detroit economy and for reducing the cost of healthcare.
And Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano stressed that the partnership of Loepp and Cynthia J. Pasky, President and CEO of S3 is key to making economic development work with or without tax credits.
“This proves we do have smart business people (in Detroit), people who make good business decisions,” said Ficano.
The partnership is also doing a lot for the iconic Penobscot Building. Pasky announced that S3 now occupies three floors of the building and approximately ten percent of the employees who work in the DDC have moved back to Michigan, back to where they wanted to be. She also said that a fuller building has a ripple effect – helping small businesses in and around the building.
And if this partnership continues to thrive, you can expect another ribbon cutting next year because, as Pasky said, you should always hold people who hold ribbon cuttings accountable.