Welcome to Detroit Homecoming IX

With vaccinations on the rise, we hope you will join us, Sept. 14-16, for our annual Detroit immersion.

Our theme this year: “Talent & Tech for Detroit’s Equitable Future”

Talent & Tech for Detroit’s Equitable Future

Detroit was the “Silicon Valley” of the early 20th Century. This year, we highlight how Detroit is moving in new directions as the legacy auto industry shifts to electric vehicles. And tech-infused sectors such as mortgage originations are creating a foundation for fin-tech growth. Can we also ensure that diversity and racial equity will be part of the transformation, making Detroit’s revitalization an opportunity for all Detroiters?

The pandemic has resulted in new work patterns; the Wall Street Journal reported (March 12, 2022) on survey data gathered by three universities that predicts one-quarter of all full workdays will happen at home after the pandemic ends. At the same time, a new “economic geography” is emerging in the U.S., creating more tech hubs outside of the Bay Area and Seattle, citing Atlanta, Austin, Kansas City, St. Louis and Miami as emerging tech talent hubs.

Detroit was not on the WSJ’s list. But it could be.

With Ford, GM and UM/Stephen Ross doubling down on tech investments in Detroit, the city can and should join those cities. What will it take to make that cut? We’ll hear about new investments to spur innovation, such as Ford Co.’s partnership with Newlab in Corktown and the University of Michigan’s plans for a Detroit-based Innovation Center.

Can Detroit create opportunities for People of Color by helping Big Tech address its lack of diversity? Twitter succeeded in raising its proportion of Black employees by more than 2 points in a single year – to 9.4% in the U.S. – by tapping remote workers in areas where high percentages of Blacks live. Is that not an opportunity for Detroit? Another opportunity: Apple’s Apple Academy, first of its kind for the company and in partnership with Michigan State University.

As automotive reinvents itself, so, too, is the mortgage business. With three of the nation’s leading mortgage companies in SE Michigan – Rocket, USW and HomePoint Financial (Ann Arbor), fin-tech is growing in the region. There are also early-stage companies with strong fintech business models.

The pandemic and Ukraine war have pointed out weaknesses in the global supply chain. Maybe that’s why one of the country’s largest industrial developers is doubling down on Detroit, predicting it will be one of the nation’s top markets – in part because of its unique geography.

To ensure Detroit’s proper place in the swirl of all these trends, Detroit needs the right talent.

That may be one reason General Motors is rewriting job descriptions to identify opportunities that do not require a four-year college degree.

Mary Kramer, Program Director

3
Days of

Dynamic Programming

Join us in the “D” for great speakers, excellent food, and terrific networking.

Join us this September in Detroit
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