Don’t Let ‘No’ Stop You: Industry Insiders Share Insight on Diverse Career Paths

Showcasing the state’s diverse and exciting automobility industry, four leading insiders shared their insight on what is driving Michigan forward — from collaboration to access to global OEMs. Pierre Bourgin of the autonomous and electric vehicle company NAVYA, Ann Arbor SPARK’s Komal Doshi, Tarun Kajeepeta of startup company Mobiliti, and Detroit Mobility Lab’s Chris Thomas participated in the 15-minute, TED-style talks, which were new to this year’s MICHauto Summit.

Pierre Bourgin on Michigan’s appeal to tech and mobility companies:

“Where else would you want to be? Only here do we have access to the industry and the technology you need, and a pipeline of people who are passionate and motivated to work in the industry.”

Komal Doshi on mobility’s ability to improve lives:

“The mobility disruption in Michigan has allowed more fields than ever before to work together and connect people unlike anywhere else in the world.”

Tarun Kajeepeta on creating a startup:

“There is no better level of resources than in this region, all of them are here and ready to be used. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the industry players, there is a spirit of collaboration here like no other.”

Chris Thomas on overcoming obstacles:

“What if someone says ‘no,’ who cares? Work through that no and focus on the ‘yes.’ It is about putting yourself out there and working to build something and create an experience.”

The Automobility Forum was sponsored by the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development.

New ‘Driven’ Online Publication Offers One-Stop Shop to Tell Region’s Mobility Story

This week, the Detroit Regional Chamber and its regional economic development partners launched a new online publication, Driven, which is devoted to telling the story of the Detroit region’s mobility assets and leadership.

“Realizing the next-generation mobility story and our leadership in the industry was not one that was actively being told in a singular place, we came together collectively to highlight our strengths as a region,” said Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction for the Chamber. “We are working together to engage our local partners and the region’s mobility leaders to advance the narrative through the lens of how metro Detroit is leading the global race towards next-generation mobility.”

Publication partners include: Ann Arbor SPARK, city of Detroit, Destination Detroit, Detroit Regional Chamber, MICHauto, Macomb and Oakland counties, and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s PlanetM initiative. Read and learn more about Driven at: www.DetroitDriven.us.

Community Colleges’ Talent Pool to Play Large Role in Michigan’s Mobility Future

Education and talent experts engaged in a meaningful conversation on how to effectively attract and retain talent for Michigan’s mobility industry at the session titled “Creating the Talent Pipeline for the Mobility Workforce” hosted by Washtenaw Community College and Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) on Thursday.

“We currently have more than 10,000 unfilled mobility jobs across the state that we must really look to fill to be able to compete,” said Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development.

Key Takeways

  • Attracting students to mobility-related career requires more education and easily accessible information.
  • Community colleges are necessary for the success of the auto-mobility industry as talent needs to grow.
  • The private and public sectors must collaborate to provide viable options and resources for students looking for mobility careers.
  • Community colleges offer an increased focus on robotics and supply chain management courses to assist in creating a pipeline for the mobility sector.
  • Improving Michigan’s education system will directly impact the state’s long-term economy.
  • Community colleges must not solely focus on graduation metrics, due to the nature of students and the aggressive needs of the mobility industry.
  • The state of Michigan has a skills gap and digital divide that is leaving thousands of technology-related jobs unfilled and putting more pressure on company’s looking to expand

The panel also included Rose Bellanca, president of Washtenaw Community College and Curtis Ivery, chancellor of Wayne County Community College District. It was moderated by Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK.

New Destination Detroit Video Showcases Regional Collaboration

Destination Detroit is North America’s premier regional business attraction team. The regional initiative brings together all the resources of one of America’s fastest growing locations. Learn more about Destination Detroit by watching the video below:

Led by the Detroit Regional Chamber, Destination Detroit is operated in partnership with the region’s principal economic development agencies:

Partners

 

Cleveland Site Selectors: Data Center Legislation Driving Investor Interest in Southeast Michigan

Through its effort to educate national site selectors about the Detroit region’s world-class manufacturing assets and talent, the Detroit Regional Chamber, together with its public partners, took its message on the road to meet with site selectors in Cleveland in September.

The trip, held in conjunction with Ann Arbor SPARK, DTE Energy, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), builds on the Chamber’s goal of promoting the region in secondary markets across the country. In addition to information gathering, the team also met with 21 site consultants from seven firms representing clients in industrial and manufacturing industries that are considering expanding into the Michigan market.

“We’re seeing a big need for areas that accommodate everything from skilled trades to food manufacturing. That’s right in our wheelhouse,” said Brian Bilger, senior representative for business development at the Chamber.

One of the biggest interests, however, is in Michigan’s tax-reform legislation that gives data centers an exemption on sales and use taxes. The legislation’s passage in 2015 was a key collaborative effort between the Chamber, The Right Place, and the MEDC.

“That legislation takes out all the uncertainty for site selectors working with data center clients and puts Michigan at top of mind for prospective investors,” Bilger said.

Economic development collaboration, led by the Chamber, remains a hallmark for the 11-county region, said Justin Sprague, director of business development for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

“The Flint & Genesee Chamber was pleased to join the Detroit Regional Chamber and other local economic development partners representing the Detroit region in Cleveland. Through this partnership, we were able to … develop valuable relationships that can help drive economic growth throughout Flint and Genesee County. We look forward to participating in many more missions in the near future in collaboration with the Chamber,” Sprague said.

Bilger said the Chamber and its partners are following up with four companies considering Southeast Michigan.

“The good news is that we’re seeing more awareness about Detroit’s economic comeback and questions on what’s going on in that space,” Bilger said.

In the coming months, the Chamber team is evaluating a site selector trip to Greenville, S.C.

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page. For more information on Business Attraction, contact Justin Robinson at 313.596.0352.