“I’m sure at first (GE was) at least retarding the amount of shrinkage in the market, but because they came in with this large long-term investment, others are joining in,” observed Bob Cell, chief executive of e-commerce consultant MyBuys, based in Redwood City,Calif. “GE has raised the water level for all of us in IT,” he told Crain’s Detroit Business.
Like other companies with facilities in the area, GE is taking advantage of Michigan’s relatively low cost of living and deep local talent pool. Most of the 700 employees at its Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center in Van Buren Township are from Michigan. About 10 IT professionals are being hired there each week.
Since the center — which focuses on developing value added programs, including apps for mobile devices — expanded in 2009, GE’s been looking to local groups and employment programs to find talent. GE is also recruiting IT employees from the bankrupt bookseller Borders Group, which is currently winding down operations.
GE has also worked with Michigan Economic Development Corp., the University of Michigan and Michigan State University to lure Michigan college alumni from around the country back to the state.
For candidates, one attraction is Michigan’s low cost of living, Cell said. “Costs are lower here than where other tech companies set up, like in California,” he explained. “Those cities cause a burden for employees.”
Source: Crain’s Detroit Business