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White House summit targets auto city hardships

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White House summit targets auto city hardships

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington -- The White House will host a daylong summit Tuesday aimed at revitalizing struggling auto communities, with a big focus on the woes of Michigan.

The conference -- Auto Communities and the Next Economy: Partnerships in Innovation -- will feature Larry Summers, the White House National Economic Council director, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Ed Montgomery, the auto communities' czar.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and a host of other Michigan elected officials and dignitaries will be in attendance.

The event "will showcase innovative ways local and state leaders are working together to lead their communities into the next economy," the White House said.

It will also highlight ways the federal government and philanthropies are working to bolster state and regional innovations.

"There is much more to do. We need to strengthen the partnership between industry and government -- that can't just be a one-time reaction to a crisis, but an ongoing effort to help U.S. manufacturers compete.

"We need to do much more to break down barriers to our exports and address currency manipulation by countries such as China," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, who will attend the summit.

Blue-ribbon panels will grapple with reinventing industries, retraining workers, cleaning up contamination and blight, and creating new uses for underutilized land, according to an advanced copy of the agenda obtained by The Detroit News.

The agenda has not been made public.

One of the day's main sessions focuses on Detroit.

Titled "Reinventing Detroit--Broad Vision and Partnerships to Transform the Motor City," the session will discuss how the city is grappling with the loss of more than half its population over the last half-century and what it is doing to reinvent itself.

Bing "plans to outline his vision for Detroit along with the connectivity and roles that the federal government and philanthropic community can play in realizing this vision," said spokeswoman Karen Dumas.

Other auto community leaders will attend including the mayors of Shreveport, La., and Youngstown, Ohio.

Luis A. Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation, Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation, Carol Goss, president of the Skillman Foundation and Ellen S. Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation, will discuss the role of foundations in boosting struggling cities.

Joining Granholm and Bing at the event will be United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger, Wayne State University President Jay Noren and the state's two U.S. senators, Levin and Debbie Stabenow, as well as a dozen other members of Congress at the event sponsored by the White House Council on Automotive Communities and the Brookings Institution.

Many Michigan U.S. House members will attend, including: Reps. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, Sandy Levin, D-Royal Oak, Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, John Conyers, D-Detroit, and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Detroit.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100515/AUTO01/5150320/1148/White-House-summit-targets-auto-city-hardships#ixzz0o2plVTqD

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"It will also highlight ways the federal government and philanthropies are working to bolster state and regional innovations."

local problems cannot be solved by federal ideas, and will most likely worsen it, or some other area.

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