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Chaldeans Offer Stability and Growth to Michigan's Economy
By Ray Yono :: Friday, September 13, 2013 :: 9621 Views :: Government & Society
Fewer immigrants are choosing to make Michigan their new home, according to figures released by the Department of Homeland Security.  Only Michigan and Wisconsin are experiencing a drop while other Midwest states show a steady growth.  The nearly 5% decline is attributed to the poor job outlook, poor educational environment, and highly regulated and prohibitive sole proprietorship business environment in both states.
 
A saving grace to Michigan’s challenges in growing a contributing population base are the Chaldeans.   “Michigan is just second to California in terms of its attraction of Iraqi immigrants,” said Kurt Metzger, director emeritus of Data Driven Detroit.
“Primarily the Chaldean community... established itself in metropolitan Detroit,” Metzger said. Studies from Data Driven Detroit reveals that the metro Detroit’s Chaldean population hovers well over 100,000 with a strong majority being entrepreneurs and professionals.  

The hard working and highly professional base is helping Michigan considerably.  Metzger emphasizes that maintaining, and attracting immigrants to the state is critical for revitalizing Michigan’s cities.

“We find that immigrants are very entrepreneurial,” Metzger said. “They’re moving to neighborhoods that have seen disinvestment. They put money into redeveloping. They generate economic activity.”

And while Metzger says Gov. Rick Snyder has been active when it comes to recruiting newcomers to Michigan — even traveling to China this week in an attempt to bring in both businesses and people — more needs to be done to bring the state’s immigration numbers up.

“Michigan needs people,” said Metzger. The type of prosperity that follows with Chaldeans is undeniable.  The small business owners revitalize area neighborhoods often neglected and take significant risk.  The highly valued Chaldean family structure work together to pull resources and learn from one another - a distinct hallmark to their success.  
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