Is Southeast Michigan the New Silicon Valley?

Automation Alley Technology Industry Outlook 2016

Written by: Laura Cominotto, Marketing Manager

We’ve all heard more than our fair share about the “skilled trades gap” that we have here in Michigan. But why is that? Is it a lack of talent pipeline? I don’t think so. There are plenty of kids who are interested in the STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) fields these days. Just look at the number of specialty high schools and robotics clubs!

No, no… I think the problem is that these kids get their degrees in tech fields and then abandon Michigan! No one realizes just how much the engineering, technology and manufacturing industries are booming right now in the area! Instead, they assume to get a good career, they have to leave and go to California. But that is just not the case at all!

Last week, I attended an event put on by Automation Alley about the trends and outlook for the Technology industry. At the event, they presented findings from a study comparing the tech industry of Southeast Michigan with that of Silicon Valley. I wanted to share just a few findings from the study here:

  • 99 percent of Southeast Michigan Technology companies project revenue growth in 2016
  • 82 percent plan to hire more talent in 2016
  • 85 percent believe Southeast Michigan has leading academic institutions for self-advancement

Not to mention… the cost of living here vs there? I mean, come on, it’s almost a no-brainer!

So why do so many engineering and technology graduates feel the need to leave Michigan? It’s probably the stigma of Detroit. As much as the industry is booming and as many great things going on downtown, people still don’t seem to have a bright outlook on our great city! I may not live or work in downtown, but I live about two miles north of the city and I am proud to say I’m from Detroit! Even during the recession, I was! We have always been a passionate, loyal and hard-working city… now we are competing with one of the most advanced, innovative areas in the country!

It’s time to break the stigma; be proud of being from Detroit (or Michigan). It’s an exciting time to be in this area… Show the world that Detroit is a new, booming tech town!

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