In March of 2015, the Region 2 Planning Commission contracted for a report investigating the role of transportation in successful job seeking as well as business location and growth on behalf of the Region 9 Transportation Functional Committee. Three agencies were engaged in the study, Emma White Research, LLC., Michigan Environmental Council, and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, to complete the following scope:

  1. Perform a literature review focused on recent transportation and business trends, including examples of best practices for connecting residents to jobs and employers to talent.
  2. Conduct twenty interviews with key business leaders in the key sectors of IT, healthcare, and manufacturing as targeted by Region 9. The interviews focused on the role transportation plays in job seeking, talent attraction, and related successes and challenges.
  3. Administer 400 interviews with current and previous Michigan Works! jobseeker clients in Region 9 to statistically determine the role transportation or lack thereof has on finding and keeping employment.
  4. Develop dashboard to provide means to benchmark the region and allow for future measurement of regional decisions around transportation investments and policy as it relates to job access, employment, and business growth.

What follows is that review, study and synthesis as well as preliminary recommendations for next steps to improve opportunity through improved transportation connections. Note, this report synthesizes three separate reports as well as additional data. The original reports are available for review from the Region 9 Transportation Committee.

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