Aten “A.C.” Alrey

Aten “A.C.” Alrey

Detroit Workforce Leadership Academy, Class of 2020, Economic Opportunities Program

Public Affairs and Urban/Rural Development Professional, Detroit, Michigan

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A.C. Alrey is a public affairs and urban development professional. He recently worked for a nonprofit organization focused on increasing economic opportunities and racial equity in the public contracting process by preparing local contractors and residents for a greater chance in obtaining jobs and economic benefits from major construction projects throughout Detroit. A.C. has worked in both the public and private industries. His public sector experience, both professional and voluntary service, includes working for local government entities throughout several states in the area of community and economic development, where he has helped small businesses in the areas of financial assistance, location decisions, and workforce development. He continues to create more defined relationships, partnerships, and “networks” amongst the businesses, public/private organizations, and residents within the various communities he’s involved in – a value that’s well received in the positions he holds. His public sector service also includes several years within the executive and legislative branches of government at both the state and local levels in Michigan, Texas, and Alabama. He has also spent time teaching in both public and charter school systems in grades K-12 as a guest/associate teacher in Michigan and Texas. His private sector experiences have included involvement in the area of technology transfer and commercialization between the public sector and private industry within the Great Lakes Region, and in the environmental/solid waste industry as both a public sector marketing representative in southwestern Michigan and as a community relations manager in areas of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

A.C. received his Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Metropolitan Studies from Michigan State University and has obtained specialized training in the area of economic development from both the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute and Auburn University’s Intensive Economic Development Training Course in Alabama. He is a native Detroiter and Cass Technical High School graduate, and he volunteers his time with organizations focused on arts and culture, education, human and leadership development, planning and development, and international relations.

A.C. Alrey is a member of the Detroit Workforce Leadership Academy Class of 2020, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at

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