- These aren’t just words.
They’re the cornerstones of the American Dream.
They’re the legacy of our state.
And they’re the building blocks that put the City of Detroit on the world stage for the last century.
They’re also what drive one of the most important non-profit business groups in our region – Automation Alley.
Regional Business Groups are key drivers of innovation and economy
In every area of the country there are technology and business groups that help to support and expand their region’s businesses. Some of these groups hold networking events, provide access to business expertise, interface with regional governments on their behalf and even lead international trade missions to encourage foreign investment and help develop exporting opportunities.
For more than 15 years, Automation Alley has provided all these functions and more to Southeastern Michigan’s business community. Since 1999, they’ve grown to over 1000 member companies, generated over $325 million in export sales for those members and invested more than $8.5 million in regional high-tech companies.
Their current vision is “To make Southeast Michigan globally acknowledged as the leading technology and innovation region in the United States by 2020.”
Spotlighting technology companies – One small part of their mission
A key event to further this vision is their annual Technology Industry Outlook.
Along with Anderson Economic Group, they benchmark Southeast Michigan against 14 other technology centers around the country and provide an in-depth look at how we stack up. This year Wenzel America was invited to participate and display some of our most innovative metrology technology.
Prior to unveiling the report they hosted a Technology Center Spotlight that featured Southeastern Michigan companies who provide technology and innovation that support the region.
Wenzel America shared exaCT desktop 3D scanner at this year’s event
We featured our exaCT Computed Tomography desktop 3D scanner, showing how it can be used to measure and analyze complex parts, improve quality, and support manufacturing.
Zach Brown explaining Wenzel’s 3D Scanning
Technology to Dan Raubinger of Automation Alley
Wenzel America’s Drew Shemenski
shows off the exaCT desktop 3D Scanner
Also invited was Fisher/Unitech, a Troy-based IT solutions company for the discrete manufacturing industry and leading 3D printing reseller, who shared some of their latest 3D printing solutions.
Technology Industry Outlook for SE Michigan brings a few surprises
At the main event following the technology spotlight, Automation Alley’s people shared the Technology Industry Outlook report for 2015. Not surprisingly, SE Michigan ranks 1st nationally in the number of advanced automotive industry jobs and businesses.
Other results were a bit surprising though, including how much our region offers in terms of technology, education, and engineering. We rank 1st nationally in the number of architectural and engineering jobs and 3rd in the number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees earned. You can read the full report here on their site.
Being part of the community is a key to every company’s success
For Wenzel America, joining Automation Alley has allowed us to become a more active member in this thriving community. Of course, we see it as a way to grow our business, but we also see it as a way to help strengthen the manufacturing market and the community of Greater Detroit and Southeastern Michigan as a whole.
Recently our team visited the Wenzel world headquarters in the small town of Wiestahl, Germany. While there we saw the importance of being a part of a family-owned company that supports its own community. We saw firsthand what it means to think locally and act globally. Perhaps that is the most important innovation for the future of business.
Joining Automation Alley could be a good fit for your company too
Automation Alley’s mission and vision mirrors ours and if your company headquarters are in Southeast Michigan, take a look at what they do and what they offer. You might find their goals match yours too.
If you’re reading this from somewhere else in the country, I would encourage you to look for a similar group in your own area. You won’t be sorry.