Detroit Regional Chamber > Detroiter Magazine > Digital Lakes: Building a Tech Talent Pipeline

Digital Lakes: Building a Tech Talent Pipeline

December 19, 2023

As the chief executive officer of a talent development firm for more than 24 years, I have seen first-hand the movement and flux of young talent out of Michigan. I’ve sat on boards and taken part in focus groups aimed at attracting and retaining talent. I am excited and optimistic about the work we are doing at Digital Lakes for building a tech pipeline in Michigan. As a co-founder of Digital Lakes, we provide a platform to attract, develop and retain diverse tech talent while elevating the digital growth and economic vitality of the entire region.

Ronia Kruse headshot

Ronia Kruse

Digital Lakes has a number of initiatives – one being our Micro-Internship Program which connects young talent to exciting technology related careers across all industries. In August 2023, we graduated students from our inaugural Micro-Internship program. For three months, each student rotated monthly through three different companies, in a variety of industries. The students learned how technology is entwined and embedded in every position, at every company. They received valuable hands-on experience, working on digital/tech projects, in industries such as defense, automotive and health insurance. The micro-interns range from students who will be entering college in the fall to rising juniors in college.

The Digital Lakes Micro-Internship program has been a win-win for both students and employers. Students have earned practical experience, gained insights into potential career paths, and were provided a competitive advantage in the job market. Employers have equally benefited from the program, getting to know an energetic pool of talent. The participating companies have gained access to students that otherwise may not have considered their firm or even a technology related career. These companies now have a robust talent pipeline as these students finish up their degrees. We look forward to expanding this program in the coming year, adding additional firms and accepting more talented young individuals to the program.

Ronia Kruse is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Optech LLC and the Co-founder of Digital Lakes.