Detroit’s Efforts to Build IT Sector Hits Some Bumps

Detroit has been getting a lot of good press lately for IT hiring. Research firm IDG estimates 12,500 tech jobs could be added in the region area by 2015 and, indeed, a wave of hiring is under way:

  • General Motors plans to bring back 90 percent of its outsourced  IT services work in-house.
  • Quicken Loans, which is looking to add 300 IT pros, is among the companies that launched a campaign to lure the laid-off Yahoo workers from California.
  • Project management firm GalaxE.Solutions wants to add 500 professionals.
  • Jackson-based utility Consumers Energy has teamed with Indian outsourcing company HCL to handle its formerly outsourced IT work, adding 300 jobs by 2014.
  • A consortium of local companies and colleges have teamed up on a program to train technology workers.
  • And there are rumors that Amazon plans a software center in Detroit.

On the other hand, area employers have been dinged for being unreasonably picky in their job requirements.

That’s not the only knock on the area. The state-funded Competitive Edge Technology Grants and Loans program — which awarded $100 million to universities, companies and research firms “to encourage the development of competitive-edge technologies to create jobs in the state” — has produced only 153 positions, according to Capitol Confidential. On top of that, the state’s auditor general called it one of the jobs programs lacking effective oversight.

Seven Michigan universities were awarded grants totaling more than $29 million in 2006 and were expected to create 411 jobs in life sciences technology, advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials technology, homeland security and defense technology, or alternative energy technology.

And its loan fund, which created the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, loaned $7.7 million to 35 companies — startups mostly — to create 390 Michigan jobs. So far the job tally from that effort has been only 79.

In other words, what’s going on in Detroit is a good news/bad news thing for job seekers. The openings are there, and so is the money. But companies seem to be shooting themselves in the foot with their seductiveness, and the programs intended to support candidates have a way to go before they become truly effective.

Related Links

Comments

  1. BY David Strom says:

    We’ve seen some of the same things happen in St. Louis — we have a strong IT community owning to some large employers in banking, insurance etc. But the real job growth is with much smaller co’s and startups. You need the right mix and the right set of skills to make it all work.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>