With advances in technology on the rise, it’s a no-brainer that Michigan set itself up for the future, taking advantage of the endless possibilities for jobs, revenue and economic boosts. Recognized as the historic heart of the automobile industry and the state which, in large part, put the nation on wheels, Michigan is a maker state.
Engorged with technology, research, talent and innovation, Michigan excels in industries such as automotive, mobility and semiconductors. The diverse, innovative culture creates a recipe for success. Even large tech companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google invest throughout the state.
Michigan is a manufacturing center with roughly 80,000 workers employed in technology. In addition, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Michigan has the highest concentration of engineering talent, lending itself to the robust workforce.
Randy Thelen, president and CEO of The Right Place, an economic development organization serving the Grand Rapids region, suggested that Michigan hasn’t met its full potential in the tech sector.
“As we look at how to diversify our economy further, the tech sector is the area where we see tremendous growth opportunity,” he said. However, while technology is the fastest-growing job market nationwide, Michigan hasn’t “fully appreciated it yet.”
To accelerate that growth, the Grand Rapids region is one example of a community giving a serious amount of strategy to grow the tech sector. Thelen said that as the state advances, it will be about improving on what already exists and figuring out how to build on and add new things that accelerate growth.
Aspirational markets such as Denver or Nashville provide understanding of how to build a tech ecosystem and how Michigan can put a twist on it. Naturally, some of the fastest-growing regions also happen to be some of the fastest-growing tech hubs.
“The beauty of technology is that it’s a sector in and of itself. Every company is a technology company — a notion reinforced during the pandemic as companies big and small reverted to technology,” said Thelen.