Brief

Detroit sets its sights on the next generation of tech workers

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Dive Brief:

  • Bloomberg reports that Detroit-area companies are focused on luring more young talent to the city. According to estimates consultant AlixPartners LLP, there are some 5,000 unfilled jobs in software and electronics development with Detroit's big three car companies. 
  • Apple, Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc. are developing new smart car technology and driving this demand for talent. To attract new talent, Detroit is getting a facelift to rival Silicon Valley.
  • GM is spending $1 billion to renovate it's tech center. Ford is adding green space, walking trails and eco-friendly design to it's Dearborn campus. Additionally, companies in Detroit are offering generous bonuses and starting salaries to attract top talent. 

Dive Insight:

Detroit, one of the worst-hit cities during the recession, is starting to bounce back in a big way. Companies in the automobile industry are leading the way, with efforts to update and create a more beautiful city and lifestyle for new talent.

While San Francisco and Palo Alto have the glitz and glamor of a well-developed tech hub, Detroit has a much more affordable housing market, and cost of living is reasonable given it's an urban hotspot — a notable bonus, considering rising costs of living in California. Some companies are beginning to move employees out of the Golden State thanks to housing cost alone.

These factors, combined with outstanding salaries and benefits offered by well-known companies, will appeal to millennials and Gen Z job seekers who are just starting out in life and hoping to raise families. 

Detroit is also an interesting example of how traditionally "low-tech" industries, such as automobile manufacture, are requiring their own talent capable of managing complex computer systems. Shortages of such talent have forced companies like Ford and GM to get creative in advertising jobs to those who many not know such jobs exist.

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Filed Under: Policy & Planning
Top image credit: Wikimedia