Motor City grows as tech talent hub

As Detroit’s century-old automotive industry reckons with fast-paced advancements in technology, the Motor City’s talent pool is shifting to favor tech workers.

A recent study by the Brookings Institution ranks the Detroit area at No. 4 in a list of the country’s hubs for advanced industry employment. Nearly 15 percent of the workforce in the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area works in advanced industries such as research and development, and engineering. The city is outranked only by the Silicon Valley region, including San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara; greater Seattle; and Wichita, Kansas, which made the list because of technology’s outsize presence in a relatively small workforce.

“All of the fastest-growing occupations in the automotive industry are digital,” said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings’ metropolitan policy program. “Detroit is accumulating a concentration of that, maybe not at the level of Silicon Valley, but the region is at least competitive.”