Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud announced on February 22 the launch of a new collaboration with Google Cloud to transform the city’s IT and data capabilities and help position Dearborn as a workforce and talent hub in the region. In a special evening launch event held at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Hammoud was joined onstage by Google Public Sector CEO Karen Dahut. Their wide-ranging conversation covered the role of technology in public service, how data can inform local decision-making, and how the new collaboration can improve the lives of Dearborn residents.
The multi-prong collaboration was approved unanimously (7-0) by the Dearborn City Council on January 24th, and is part of Hammoud’s “Dearborn Advantage” program — a sweeping civic improvement initiative intended to showcase the advantages to being a Dearborn resident. The onstage conversation between Hammoud and Dahut previewed the many community benefits that will emerge from the collaboration, beginning with citizen service upgrades that will make Dearborn a 24/7 service provider by modernizing the city’s website. Currently, many city services, such as applying for a permit, require a visit to City Hall during business hours. Additionally, many business processes remain paper driven.
Mayor Hammoud stated, “Dearborn residents are some of the most driven, innovative, and creative anywhere in the U.S., and I believe this collaboration gives them a government that accelerates their potential rather than slowing them down. This collaboration is also about opening doors of possibilities and putting Dearborn at the cutting edge of public service. I’m grateful to Google Public Sector CEO Karen Dahut and the entire Google team for their commitment to Dearborn’s success.”
Dahut, who is based in Washington D.C., spent the day touring Dearborn and speaking with members of the community. “Products and services often dominate our discussions about technology, but the real story is how it helps improve people’s lives. I was thrilled to see Dearborn and meet face-to-face with a few of the people who will get to experience first-hand how the cloud can transform the delivery of government services. I’m proud Google Public Sector will play a supporting role in Dearborn’s story of innovation,” she said.
Google Public Sector is a Google subsidiary focused on helping U.S. federal, state, and local governments, and educational institutions accelerate their digital transformations.
The Dearborn partnership has several components, including the full transformation of the city’s IT and data infrastructure, the implementation of Google Workspace, and a new, state-of-the-art city website that will serve as a seamless multilingual portal into many services offered by the city. As part of the collaboration, Dearborn and Google will also create applications for residents to digitally conduct city business on a 24/7 basis, no longer requiring physical trips to City Hall during business hours. The collaboration will enhance the city’s translation capabilities with multilingual virtual agents available around the clock, as well as translation of city documents and website content. Crucially, Google Cloud also provides best-in-class security built on the principles of zero trust.
Beyond digital transformation, Google Cloud and Dearborn are working with ACCESS, a leading non-profit social services provider, on a workforce initiative to help Dearborn residents obtain Google IT certifications.
According to Hammoud, having access to useful data is often the first step to solving some of the challenges the city faces. “Often we run for office promising to solve a set of problems that residents care about,” Hammoud said. “But it’s rare to also have the data to say, ‘this is what the problem actually looks like, and here is the progress we’ve made.’ This collaboration is as much about accountability and transparency as it is about modernization.”
The evening event was attended by Google personnel from across the midwest region, as well as the Dearborn City Council, Dearborn city employees, elected officials, and non-profit and business leaders from southeast Michigan and beyond. Hammoud and Dahut encouraged guests to use the occasion to build partnerships, emphasizing that Dearborn’s individual transformation can also catalyze regional cooperation and growth, and inspire collaborative problem-solving.