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MichAuto, Digital Lakes Announce Partnership, Micro-Internship Program

January 27, 2023

DETROIT (Jan. 27, 2023) – At an event for members and stakeholders on Jan. 26, MichAuto joined Digital Lakes to announce their partnership to convene statewide tech leaders focused on building awareness by promoting Michigan’s unique technology value proposition, attracting young talent through a micro-internship program, and creating a collaborative and impactful ecosystem.

“Technology drives innovation and innovation is the path to every business’ success,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., Executive Director of MichAuto and Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives. “Despite strong demand for tech talent, nearly 40% of IT graduates from Michigan’s outstanding universities pursue employment outside the state. Through MichAuto’s partnership with Digital Lakes, we hope to slow this trend and make strides to keep talented young professionals here to grow our state’s signature industry and economy.”

“As talent needs shift, the demand for top tech talent remains. One-third of senior leaders cite finding talent as there most significant challenge,” said Ronia Kruse, Chief Executive Officer of Optech and Co-founder of Digital Lakes. “Building strong, deep talent pipelines in imperative. The micro-internship program does just that, targeting students earlier in their college career, exposing them to the wonderful companies across all industries in Michigan. Not to mention, the retention rate for employees hired as interns is more than 71%.”

Through this partnership, Digital Lakes will showcase Michigan as a premier digital hub – attracting, developing, and retaining top tech talent across industries, while enhancing the growth and vitality of the state and our economy. They will connect multiple tech sector initiatives and organizations across the state and bring together an expansive network of technology sector leaders to develop strategies, share challenges and successes, and identify trends.

Additionally, Digital Lakes and MichAuto will launch a micro-internship pilot program that introduces freshman and sophomore students to a variety of companies. Host companies will be able to promote their work, innovative projects, and company culture to students early in their college careers. Digital Lakes plans to support 50 students in the pilot year, with special focus on under-represented schools and students. Second, Digital Lakes will host focused sessions for companies participating in the program to better prepare them for this unique group of prospective employees.

This new partnership will support one of the four critical workstreams of MichAuto’s High-Tech Talent Strategy to strengthen Michigan’s global competitiveness in the automotive, mobility, and technology industries. That broader initiative is being funded by a grant through the state of Michigan’s Mobility Futures Initiative with a goal of growing high-tech talent in Michigan and bringing to life the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification’s MI Future Mobility Plan.


About MichAuto

MichAuto promotes, retains, and grows Michigan’s signature industry as the state’s only automotive, mobility, and technology cluster association. MichAuto provides a platform for industry leaders and stakeholders to engage in advocacy, discuss industry priorities, improve the high-tech talent outlook, and create an innovation-friendly environment to support next-generation mobility developments. As the automotive and mobility industry continues to evolve, MichAuto serves as a trusted advisor and representative for the industry, ensuring Michigan maintains its global leadership and competitiveness. Learn more at michauto.org.

About Digital Lakes

Digital Lakes is a collaborative initiative, providing a platform to attract, develop, and retain diverse tech talent while elevating the digital growth of the entire region. Its mission is to showcase Michigan as a digital hub – attracting, developing, and retaining top tech talent across industries, while simultaneously enhancing the growth and vitality of the state and our economy. Learn more at digital-lakes.org.