Economic development and ‘white-collar’ jobs emphasized in Daimler deal

September 18, 2015
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Gov. Rick Snyder’s announcement from Frankfurt of Daimler’s decision to relocate its North American headquarters to Farmington Hills is significant for a multitude of reasons, including the role of The Right Place Inc. over more than two decades to secure such opportunities.

Daimler is consolidating its financial services in the Detroit metro area, where 30 professional services employees will be joined by 20 relocating from New Jersey.

Daimler also recently moved 1,000 workers to Atlanta, and was rewarded with millions of dollars in Georgia tax incentives. (Daimler also employs 3,000 at Detroit Diesel.)

Gov. Snyder said in press comments, “Michigan is the world’s automotive leader, and Daimler’s decision to increase its presence in (the) state is another indication that we intend to hold that position for generations to come.”

The Business Journal emphasizes that white-collar jobs moving to Farmington Hills is important if Michigan is to keep its dominance as the Motor Capital of the World — exemplified by the engineering, advanced-technology and design aspects of the business rather than the perception of older generations of factory workers.

Such changes also are represented by Ford Motor Co.’s move into Silicon Valley to center itself amidst research and development of driverless cars (among other applications), and Google’s move to open R&D in Metro Detroit very near Ford headquarters.

Snyder noted in his comments, “This company (Daimler) has long been a valued member of our business community. Michigan is leading the United States in creating new auto jobs, and our leadership extends across all parts of the industry — manufacturing, R&D, engineering and technology development.”

This also represents the challenge apparent in West Michigan, long considered the automotive parts supplier capital of the world. Automotive business suppliers quickly are becoming those with technological and engineering premiums for today’s high-tech vehicles.

Snyder’s ability to make such announcements are the result of decades of relationship building by economic development groups, especially The Right Place for its long history of international courtships, particularly in Germany.

The trade mission successes are a result of economic development programs that stay the course of core missions rather than being sidetracked by a multitude of added programs. The value of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. is in its core mission, rather than a host of programs more specific to lifestyle.

The consistency of Michigan’s support for economic development’s core mission is a foundation for gains in employment, especially as that employment becomes reliant on the rapidly changing technology of manufacturing.

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