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Oakland County adds 23,000 jobs in 2011, aims to close talent gap

Two new reports from the University of Michigan and Automation Alley show a growing economic ecosystem in Oakland County.

U-M economists George Fulton and Don Grimes of the university's Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy say Oakland County created more than 23,000 jobs last year. That's the county's second best overall job-creation performance since 1994 and its best private sector performance since 1989. The economists also predict Oakland County will add another 34,000 jobs by 2014, including another 11,000 jobs this year.

Automation Alley, the Troy-based economic development accelerator, also recently released its annual report for 2011. Among the highlights are the opening of its International Business Center. The 3,200-square-foot facility now hosts companies from Israel, Germany, Luxembourg and Canada. It is also working to train more technical talent to fill the rising need among companies for high-tech jobs.

Automation Alley has also been active in investing in local tech start-ups, including Gravikor, Reveal Design Automation and Tangent Medical Technologies. To date, Automation Alley has invested $6.35 million in 32 local technology companies.

"These programs are very valuable," says Charles DeVries, senior director of Automation Alley. "The early stages when having $250,000 and $500,000 is often the difference between having a company and not having one."

Source: University of Michigan and Charles DeVries, senior director of Automation Alley
Writer: Jon Zemke
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