Metro Detroit and Silicon Valley are about as different from one another as two places can be. After all, Detroit's a blue collar manufacturing town while the Valley is the center of the white collar tech universe.
Yet Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program contends that these two iconic regions may actually be becoming more alike than different.
"Increasingly, manufacturing has gone high-tech in Detroit, while the Silicon Valley/San Jose region has seen an uptick in manufacturing…
It would surprise no one that San Jose and Silicon Valley have the highest concentration of advanced industries workers in the country, with 30% of all jobs in the metro area in one of these R&D and STEM-intensive industries. While some might think Facebook FB 0.57% and Twitter TWTR dominate the Valley, manufacturing actually employs nearly half (46.1%) of workers. These 134,000 workers produce everything from semiconductors to computer equipment to aerospace parts and pharmaceuticals.
The reverse dynamic is at play in Detroit. While the automotive industry accounts for over one-third of all advanced industry employment, services still employ almost half. Over 32,000 professionals in the Detroit metro area are employed in the computer systems design sector alone—many of which feed into the larger automotive supply chain."
To learn more about how the economies of Detroit and Silicon Valley are becoming more similar, read Katz's piece for the Brookings Institution