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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown 336

jfruh writes: "Over the past few years, the growth rate in Detroit tech jobs has been twice the natural average. The reason is the industry that still makes Detroit a company town: U.S. automotive companies are getting into high tech in a big way, and need qualified people to help them do it. Another bonus: the rent is a lot cheaper than it is in San Francisco. '[A]ccording to Automation Alley's 2013 Technology Industry Report, the metro Detroit area grew to a total of 242,520 technology industry jobs in 2011, representing a 15% increase from the 2010 level of 210,984 technology industry jobs. No other benchmarked region had greater technology industry growth than metro Detroit in this period. Further, according to the report, this growth helped propel metro Detroit to a ranking of fourth among the 14 benchmarked regions, passing San Jose."
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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

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  • Wanted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slapout ( 93640 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:31PM (#46788271)

    Wanted: People who are smart enough to work in tech, but dumb enough to live in an unsafe place.

  • Re:FLYOVER (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:47PM (#46788419) Homepage Journal

    Winters are no worse than New York City, Chicago, or Boston. Flyover? You mean like Chicago? Just wait till the next shoe drops on California and your water bill hits $600 a month unless of course you are poor and then they subside that so no one dies of thirst.
    California is way too confident.

  • Re:FLYOVER (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Scot Seese ( 137975 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @01:41PM (#46788921)

    Right, because aside from cross country skiing, downhill, snowboarding, snowmobiling, hunting, sledding, playing outside with your kids, snuggling up with the fireplace (which is still far from ecologically incorrect in the midwest) with some good movies, there is absolutely nothing to do in the midwest during the winter.

    Yeah, here's the other thing. Detroit is like many cities in the U.S. - the horrible parts of town get 100% of the media attention. What doesn't is the fact that like every city in history, there is always a nice part of town, and nice suburbs ringing the city that are where all the upper middle and upper income folks live. They live in a world so far removed from the horrors of the failing part of down town it may as well be on another planet.

    $800-1000 /mo for a 2 bedroom apartment with full kitchen, living room, dining area and your own garage vs. San Francisco's $2000/mo to share a house with 3 or 4 other people. Then the cost of living factors in.

    I don't even live in Detroit, let alone Michigan, but some of the claims being made in this thread are absurd. A good job is a good job, and there are very nice parts of Detroit far removed from the problem areas, and if you live in/below your means your money will go a hell of a lot further in the midwest than on the coasts. A lot of millionaires are being made among the Dave Ramsey crowd.

  • Re:Query (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @01:49PM (#46789017)

    That said, what the heck is the "natural average" of job growth?

    It's a number ploy by a marketing firm... Detroit is showing the best *improvement* in jobs... Which really means last year they created 10 jobs, this year it's 20, for a 100% improvement.. Nobody else comes close....

    Trust me, you DON'T want to live anywhere near there..

  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @02:07PM (#46789129)

    it's not the bigotry, its the fact they have no zoning laws and some megacorp can build a fertilizer plant next to residential housing and kill people when it explodes
    or build some oil refinery next to someone's home and poison their air and water

    While I'm sure that Texas has totally managed to avoid the scourge of zoning laws, the California approach has its own drawbacks that are becoming apparent, especially as California is now practically speaking a one party state run by Democrats with super majorities able to pass whatever they want.

    California: CEOs Rate It Worst U.S. Business Climate For 8 Years Running []
    Hundreds of Thousands Flee Democrat-Run California []
    Just How Bad is California’s Business Climate? []
    California, a bad bet for business - Why would new enterprises come to a state like this? []
    Texas v. California: The Real Facts Behind The Lone Star State's Miracle []
    State leaders closely watch migrating millionaires []

  • Clueless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @02:08PM (#46789135)

    What makes ME laugh about such articles is that Detroit is in the midst of some *serious* financial issues.

    Detroit CITY is in the midst of such issues. Detroit METRO is largely unaffected. Oakland County immediately to the north of Detroit City is one of the ten wealthiest counties in the US and has a AAA credit rating. Guess where 80% of the population of Metro Detroit lives? (hint - it isn't in Detroit City)

    Who would want to live anyplace near such a situation?

    Because most people who live NEAR Detroit City don't live IN Detroit City and haven't for a long time. Metro Detroit is actually a very nice place to live and Michigan is absolutely beautiful. I know because I've lived there.

    It's like a third world country in decline, with the crime, blight and debt in abundance.

    If you think that then you really know nothing about it and clearly haven't visited the area. Yes there are some parts of Detroit City that are pretty crappy. That doesn't describe much of the rest of Michigan.

    Nope, articles like this are just the dying gasps of the marketing company hired to try and attract new business to a sinking ship.

    Automation Alley is not a marketing company. They are a sort of tech transfer organization/incubator that helps Michigan businesses grow. It's actually a pretty neat operation and I've been to events they hold. The studies they cite are actually well researched and factual. There are a HUGE number of tech jobs in Michigan and Metro Detroit has more engineers per square mile than all but a handful of cities in the US. There is an enormous amount of technology that goes into manufacturing and about 50 of the largest manufacturing companies plus their supply chains are headquartered in Michigan, most fairly close to Detroit.

  • Re:Cheap cooling (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cusco ( 717999 ) <> on Friday April 18, 2014 @02:08PM (#46789137)

    I still remember when I was a kid and Indira Gandhi spent a gazillion dollars on upgrading the Indian university system with an emphasis on computers. Pretty much everyone that wasn't laughing were outraged that she was "wasting" that money instead of feeding the poor. I wonder where India would be now if she were still alive.

  • by guanxi ( 216397 ) on Friday April 18, 2014 @06:32PM (#46791693)

    It may seem to fit that partisan narrative, but you don't really know Detroit politics. The Big Three run Detroit, in any meaningful sense. The economy of the city is completely dependent on them, and as auto company jobs have declined since the 1950s, so has Detroit. GM just went bankrupt and Chrysler nearly did; it's hard to blame that on local Detroit politics.

    Race problems have been huge. Much of the city's talent was effectively barred from eduction, productive employment, or decent housing for a long time. The riots in 1967 did not come from a vacuum, but from decades of oppression by the white population. You probably haven't read about the riots that would happen when a black person dared to move into a white neighborhood. George Wallace (former Alabama governor and ardent segregationist) won the 1968 Democratic primary in the city!

    If you really want to understand Detroit and urban politics, and the role of race, read this history (which won the Bancroft Prize [], among others):

    The Origins of the Urban Crisis [] by Thomas Sugrue

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