In 2008, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce (GRACC) established the West Michigan Policy Forum (WMPF) as part of its 120th anniversary. The inaugural WMPF event brought more than 600 business and community leaders to Grand Rapids to unite the Michigan business community.

The conference breakout sessions and speeches by various subject experts led up to the closing session, where attendees participated in real-time voting that targeted specific issues and desired outcomes based on three themes:

  • Economic Growth
  • Attraction and Retention of Businesses
  • Improve Government Functions

These themes were separated into seven subject areas and as attendees voted, the five WMPF policy directives, listed below, emerged as the top ranked results.

The second WMPF event took place in Grand Rapids September of 2010. Again, more than 600 business and community leaders attended and showed their support for moving Michigan forward, this time, attendees came from 24 communities throughout the state. The 2010 WMPF was held during a pivotal election year and the forum gave participants the chance to hear from Michigan gubernatorial candidates.

In 2011, the WMPF became an independent entity. The transition allows the WMPF to continue to advocate throughout Michigan for pro-business policy reform, work with various partners to build a strong Michigan job base through other chambers, business leader groups, organizations and associations.

In 2012, the WMPF convened again with more than 600 attendees from communities throughout Michigan recommitting to policy priorities approved in 2008 and 2010 while adding additional priorities based on the changing policy landscape. The organization’s focus is now squarely focused on creating growth-positive policies in these areas:

  • Government
  • Health
  • Labor
  • Talent
  • Transportation & Infrastructure