Cracking the Millennial Code

Metro Detroit businesses shifting culture, workspaces to attract younger talent

By Daniel A. Washington

With a proven track record of innovation and career advancement, the region’s auto industry, suppliers and service providers are becoming leading destinations for millennial talent.

Companies such as Lear Corp., TI Automotive, P3 and Tweddle Group have invested greatly in Southeast Michigan and are leading the way in reinventing themselves to appeal to a new generation.

Lear Corp. has invested in a unique office space design that appeal to top talent among millennials.

Lear Corp. has invested in a unique office space design that appeal to top talent among millennials.

“Design and creative talent is exceptional in Detroit and the opening of the Lear Innovation Center will help us gain a competitive advantage within the industry,” said Dave McNulty, vice president of human resources and global talent acquisition at Lear, regarding the recent $10 million investment in Detroit’s Capitol Park.

Creating a place and space dedicated solely  to creativity, the Innovation Center will  focus on next-generation automotive battery  charging, seating designs and technology  integration and non-automotive projects for  clients such as Shinola, Nike, Under Armour  and New Balance.

The Southfield-based global supplier  of automotive seating and electrical  systems’ latest investment is just one of  the many examples that auto suppliers  and service providers are taking to  retain a competitive edge ahead of others  seeking to poach talent.

“We love metro Detroit because it is a talent-rich area and is where grit and ability go  hand-in-hand, which results in a pool of local people who have the vision to see the  future and the guts to get us there,” said Paul Arnegard, vice president of creative services at Tweddle Group.

Tweddle’s new office, focused on  connected car software in downtown Detroit, is currently home to more than 30  employees. The 65-year-old automotive communications and publishing firm has plans to add up to 20 more employees in  the upcoming year.

“Tweddle Group isn’t going anywhere,” said Arnegard about the company’s commitment to Detroit and the region. “Our focus is on creating a culture where millennials want to be.”

Simply put, Michigan and the region is a proven testing ground for millennial talent  looking to develop and contribute to an  emerging field of connected mobility and  technology.

P3's open workspace allows creative minds to work together without the confines of cubicals.

P3’s open workspace allows creative minds to work together without the confines of cubicals.

P3’s new facility in Southfield serves as the  company’s automotive headquarters in the  Americas and includes open collaboration  spaces and a 10-car, full-vehicle workshop  with prototyping capabilities.

The center also houses multiple labs  to provide cutting-edge insights on  connectivity, autonomous vehicles, eMobility, cybersecurity and other in-vehicle telematics and mobility solutions.

“In a time when top talent is in high demand,  P3 realizes the need to set ourselves apart from all of the competition,” said LaToya Palmer, head of human resources and legal at P3.

Palmer expressed P3’s commitment to further advancing millennials’ skill sets and providing advancement opportunities to  increase employment value.

“We are dedicated to helping our employees build a meaningful career, which for many millennials is critical to job satisfaction, and  we pride ourselves on offering opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects for  big clients that help shape the future of  mobility,” she added.

Home to a number of world-class universities  and schools, the region offers auto and tech companies the opportunity to train and work closely with a robust educational  talent pipeline.

TI Automotive’s new corporate offices located in Auburn Hills are home to a collaborative floor-plan and one-of-a-kind architectural design.

TI Automotive has invested in a unique office space designs that appeal to top talent among millennials.

TI Automotive, located in Auburn Hills, has invested heavily in its offices to attract millennial talent.

“We engage university students as a first  step in attracting young professionals to  the company,” said Domenic Milicia, chief human resources and communications  officer at TI Automotive. “We do this in  two ways: by sponsoring various technical projects in local universities and offering our extensive co-op and internship programs to 20 to 30 students each year.”

The automotive fluid storage and delivery systems supplier is leading the way with others in the region in creating opportunities and environments for talent to thrive and forward-thinking culture and career succeed. The uptick in talent investment placement.

Daniel A. Washington is a marketing by companies is a telling sign, pointing and communications coordinator with the Detroit to the region as a haven for technology, Regional Chamber.

Walsh College Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week

Walsh College President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron and members of Walsh College’s Blackstone LaunchPad team will highlight steps for starting a successful business from the ground up during Walsh College’s Walshpreneur Fair celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The public is invited to the business college’s Troy campus to attend the free event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 17.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the college’s Blackstone LaunchPad program which celebrates entrepreneurship as a career path, and gain insight on starting and maintaining a viable business. Products and services from Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurs will also be showcased. The evening will include networking opportunities, refreshments and prizes.

“The journey to entrepreneurism is both difficult and rewarding,” said Carol Glynn, a seasoned entrepreneur and Walsh College director of Blackstone LaunchPad. “This celebration is an evening of discovery, learning and networking. We’ll take you from the glamorous excitement of deciding to start a new business to the realities business owners face.”

Joining Bergeron as special guest speaker will be Paul Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment, Inc. and CEO of Proctor Financial Inc.

Glantz successfully raised more than $45 million to build Detroit’s Emagine theatres which now operate in Novi, Canton, Rochester Hills and Royal Oak. He has been at the forefront of technological change in the theatre industry, particularly in the transition to high-definition digital presentation. In January of 2006 his theatres became the first chain in the nation to convert all of its 46 screens to high-definition digital imagery.

Committed to numerous philanthropic endeavors, Glantz serves as a venture coach to participants in the Walsh College and Wayne State University Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurship initiatives. His volunteer efforts also include serving on the boards of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and as treasurer of the Detroit Chapter of Variety International.

A recipient of the 2011 Walsh College Distinguished Alumnus Award, Glantz holds a master’s in taxation from the business college.

Those interested in attending Walshpreneur Fair should contact:
Diane Fisher at 248-823-1670, or Launchpad@walshcollege.edu.
Online registration is available at: www.walshcollege.edu/blackstonelaunchpad.

About Walsh College Blackstone LaunchPad
Funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and in partnership with New Economy Initiative, a program of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan; Automation Alley, University of Miami, Walsh College and Wayne State University – this program helps aspiring entrepreneurs develop and launch their businesses. As the first of its kind in Michigan, it offers fully enrolled Walsh students and degreed Walsh alumni; and Wayne State University students the opportunity to assess the feasibility of their ideas for starting and growing for-profit and non-profit ventures.

About Walsh College

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs.

One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.