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Richard Florida Presents Findings of Study on National High-Tech Talent Hubs, Where Michigan Stands

May 31, 2023

Michigan's Great Inflection Strategy Cover


MichAuto partnered with Richard Florida’s Creative Class Group on a comprehensive study – “Michigan’s Great Inflection” – that benchmarks regions across North America that are succeeding in attracting and retaining high-tech talent and businesses. The study offers a comparative analysis of Michigan’s assets in business and talent attraction and provides recommendations on what Michigan must do to be more competitive, including creating the Michigan Economic Transformation Alliance. Read the report.


In December 2022, Gov. Whitmer announced a $2-million grant to fund the MichAuto High-Tech Talent Strategy, which laid out four workstreams to strengthen Michigan’s global competitiveness in the automotive, mobility, and technology industries. This broader initiative is being funded through the state of Michigan’s Mobility Futures Initiative with a goal of growing high-tech talent in Michigan and supporting the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification’s MI Future Mobility Plan.


  • The MichAuto-led High-Tech Talent strategy focuses on two main objectives:
    • Build and retain a constant flow of high-tech talent from the manufacturing floor to the vehicle to the cloud in Michigan for its signature automotive industry.
    • Build Michigan’s global image as a mobility and tech sector leader.
  • Collectively, it identified four workstreams to achieve these two objectives
    • Build a student-to-graduate-to-corporate talent pipeline
    • Benchmark growing tech sectors in North America to develop a plan for Michigan (Michigan’s Great Inflection is this workstream)
    • Measure industry perception and demographics and drive industry brand and community, and execute a mobility industry diversity, equity, and inclusion study
    • Formalize a tech sector organization and/or community across the state to advance IT and tech talent

Next Steps with Michigan’s Great Inflection Study

  • Present findings and recommendations to Gov. Whitmer and key executives at Mackinac Policy Conference and share it with the Michigan Auto Caucus.
  • MichAuto will utilize the study and workstream actions to:
    • Develop specific policy objectives targeted at:
      • Building and retaining high-tech talent in Michigan
      • Strengthening Michigan’s image as a growing tech-sector hub for mobility and other industry growth
      • Supporting initiatives that fuel innovation and new start-up activity
    • Seek additional funding to scale out proven out pilot programs and initiatives that are part of the workstream actions.
    • Continue to collaborate, convene, and lead with other organizations that are also now executing work to build high-tech talent such as Michigan’s EV Jobs Academy, MEDC Talent Action Team, and TalentFirst.