Saturday, February 28, 2015

Around the globe, Southeast Michigan is known as the automotive capital of the world and the manufacturing center of the Midwest. But in recent years, the region has also gained a reputation as a leading technology hub, due in large part to the efforts of Troy-based nonprofit business accelerator Automation Alley.

Automation Alley was formed in 1999 in response tomembers of the local business community who approached Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson with concerns about a shortage of technical workers in Oakland County. Patterson commissioned a study that revealed there were actually about 127,000 technical jobs in Oakland County alone and 300,000 in Southeast Michigan, numbers that compared favorably to Silicon Valley and other national technology hubs at the time.

Since that time, Automation Alley has grown into a regional powerhouse that has brought talent, investment and jobs back to Southeast Michigan and has positively influenced the stories being told around the globe about the people and businesses of Greater Detroit.

Today, as Michigan’s largest technology business association, the Troy-based nonprofit includes nearly 1,000 member organizations across Southeast Michigan and offers business development programs and services in five key areas: entrepreneurship, talent development, international business, emerging technologies, and defense and manufacturing.

Through these programs and services, Automation Alley has invested millions of dollars in local high-tech companies, created thousands of jobs, and provided hundreds of individuals with technical training to further their careers — helping to ensure that Southeast Michigan’s information technology workforce is among the most skilled in the nation.

Automation Alley also matches local companies to potential customers in high-growth markets overseas. To date, Automation Alley’s successful trade mission program has generated millions of dollars in export sales for local companies.

The organization has also spearheaded efforts to create opportunities for collaboration between local businesses and the defense industry, as well as efforts to create affordable training for small-to-medium sized manufacturers in the latest emerging digital technologies.

Discover how Automation Alley can grow your business. Contact 800-427-5100 or For more information, visit

Video:httpss:// (2014 Awards Gala video)

To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at

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