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Crain’s Detroit Business Journal: Amazon bid highlights gap in region’s talent strategy

While there are many factors (regional transit, tax incentives, available commercial space) that will be considered by Amazon in deciding to locate what is being dubbed its second headquarters (HQ2), there can be no doubt the real driver is talent.

While long term, Amazon may be able to attract talent to fill the projected 50,000 jobs — mostly engineering, IT, and technical positions — it will need to rely on the available talent within a metro region in the short term.

Detroit’s proposal no doubt mentioned our unique strategic global location as a Canadian border city and our great research universities. As the executive director of Global Detroit — a nonprofit economic development initiative created with backing from the New Economy Initiative and Detroit Regional Chamber that focuses on connecting international talent with regional businesses’ unmet talent needs — I was flattered to have been called twice from someone at the Boston Consulting Group about Global Detroit’s near-shoring research and our first-in-the-nation international student retention program.

But I was never brought in for a full consultation. I didn’t see many of our key partners included in the 60-member bid committee. Nor did I hear any mention of international talent outside of the undeveloped near-shoring concept.

Read the full story from Crain’s Detroit Business Journal: “Amazon bid highlights gap in region’s talent strategy”

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