Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry interviews Thomas Anderson, vice-president and the senior director of Automation Alley about how the Southeast Michigan based organization is working to help businesses in the City of Detroit and Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties meet a changing business environment. In a manner common to Jack’s guests, he tosses off interesting trivia such as “China has lost more manufacturing jobs per capita than the U.S.” and also talks about why they feel keeping a regional focus is an important strategy.
In his accompanying essay, Jack writes:
It’s often tempting to bash Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. He has taken cheap shots at Detroit for decades, and is our state’s number one unapologetic proponent of urban sprawl.
Yet he is a complicated man, and has had some good ideas. Automation Alley was one of the best. Even ten years ago, Patterson understood that we needed a different economic model. He told me then that he wanted to change the entire image of the region to that of a high-tech capital that could rival Silicon Valley or the research laboratories of Boston. That sounded fantastic â€“ but Automation Alley has grown faster than most believed possible. Six hundred and fifty companies have joined, and the alley has spread to cover eight counties in Southeast Michigan, stretching from the Toledo border up to Flint and over to Ann Arbor.
Visit the Automation Alley web site.