Originally from Boston, Asha Garro, a 24-year-old General Motors employee, had three offers upon her graduation from Howard University. She was battling between San Francisco, Chicago and Detroit.
Garro chose Michigan. And she fell in love with Detroit.
Talent transplants, just like Garro, are taking center stage at the 2019 North American International Auto Show’s Future Automotive Career Expo [links.govdelivery.com] (FACE), presented by Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan (Ted), to talk about why they chose to plant their roots here and their efforts to recruit others just like them.
“Champions like Asha play an important and critical factor in helping more STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – graduates and young professionals choose Michigan to plant their roots,” Ted Interim Director Jeremy Hendges said. “It’s important as we work to bring top talent to Michigan, we connect them with like-minded young professionals who have gone through this decision-making process. And we’re bringing that sort of program to the international stage with our Choose Michigan panel during the 2019 Auto Show.”
Garro’s story is not far from that of others who have experienced Michigan for themselves instead of reading the dated headlines of the past. She experienced Detroit’s swagger. She did her research.
“I’m a data person, so I did the research before I landed on my decision,” Garro said. “Ultimately it came down to cost of living and a place that was close to what I had called home for so many years. And Michigan had both.”
The Boston native was impressed by Metro Detroit’s walkability and the transformation of the city, which certainly didn’t mimic what she read in national news stories.
“I’m a firm believer there’s good and bad in every community – and usually more good,” Garro added. “Detroit is on the rise and, of course, there are some spots that need a little more work, but it shouldn’t be a deterrent for others to plant roots here. It’s a beautiful city full of life, full of culture and ready for you to call it home.”
As Michigan works to transform perceptions, it’s leveraging the experiences of others to serve as ambassadors for cities like Detroit through Choose Michigan. And the Detroit Regional Chamber’s new ‘Let’s Detroit [links.govdelivery.com]’ platform does just that.
Let’s Detroit launched in September and connects talent with other young professionals and local experts who call the Detroit area home. With more than 60 young professionals already serving as industry ambassadors for the region – one of whom is Garro – the campaign connects people to professional and community opportunities across Southeast Michigan.
“Let’s Detroit aids in recruiting and retaining young professionals by helping them connect to the Detroit region in a way they will respond to,” said Sarah Craft, manager, Detroit Regional Chamber. “Let’s Detroit volunteer ambassadors are the voices representing the region. They are immersed in their communities and industries and offer young talent an authentic connection to Southeast Michigan.”
Returning for a second year, FACE will be part of NAIAS, located in AutoMobili-D part of the auto show in Detroit’s Cobo Center from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17. New this year is a panel featuring young professionals, some, like Garro, in the automotive sector, who will share their stories on why they chose to live and work in Michigan. The panel, titled ‘Why I Chose Michigan,’ is from 3:40 to 4 p.m. during the expo.
“Highlighting the employment opportunities available to professionals in the automotive industry and Michigan is important, and we’re proud to do this through the FACE program,” said Bill Golling, 2019 NAIAS Chairman. “FACE allows professionals to get an inside look into the innovation and designs at the forefront of mobility in our industry and connect with the companies driving the change.”
To learn more about FACE, visit naias.com/automobili-d/face [links.govdelivery.com].