Blog: George W. Jackson

The Tigers are at bat in the American League Series, and it's no stretch to say the city of Detroit is going to bat for a variety of businesses. This week, George W. Jackson, CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, discusses the city's investment, job numbers, and its game plan for the Belleview site and extension of downtown's RiverWalk.

Post 4: Why Should You Live, Work, and Play in Detroit?

Every coach and every business manager knows you must have good talent on your team to succeed, and demographers agree. Places that attract a well-educated workforce do better economically than those that don't, and for years, Detroit was an example of a place that did not. That's all changing for a number of reasons.

There are college-educated professionals moving into downtown through consolidation and relocation of businesses, such as Quicken Loans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and General Motors.
There are job openings in Detroit at places that have been expanding, such as GalaxE Solutions, Urban Science  and Strategic Staffing Solutions.

Major institutions such as Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University have joined major companies to offer their employees incentives to live nearby in greater downtown and midtown.

Those moves have prompted new restaurants to open and events to grow. A bicycle tour of the Motor City (organizers call it the Sans-Motor City) grew from 300 riders to 4,300 riders over the course of six years. Dig Downtown Detroit, a social media site, recently promoted a week of events that included: BoatoberFest – a cruise on the Detroit River featuring tastings of beers from local microbreweries; the Michigan Apple Pie Contest at Eastern Market; a tour of architecturally significant buildings hosted by the Detroit Art Deco Society; an after-hours event at the Detroit Historical Museum featuring a look at an electric car – built in 1914; and the launch of a new City Year with 81 young people starting a year of public service. And oh, yeah, the Tigers are in the playoffs, the undefeated Detroit Lions played a home Monday Night Football game, and the Red Wings opened their season of hockey.

All these developments are steps forward, but only if talented young people know about them. And that's why DEGC is a sponsor of LiveWorkDetroit!, an effort to connect Michigan's college graduates to new opportunities in Detroit and promote the city as a post-graduation talent destination. Every month LiveWorkDetroit! holds a different event to let young college students experience what we have to offer and to network with potential employers.

The next event is October 21, and it will feature entrepreneurs and companies in Detroit's growing creative sector. Find more information for employers and participants here.