Postcard from The Motor City


By Mary Richter


On November 12, I attended a reception in Detroit sponsored by the German American Chamber of Commerce of Midwest Michigan. The Key Note speaker was Mchigan Governor Rick Snyder, who commented on Michigan’s (and specifically, Detroit’s) resurgence as a leader in advanced manufacturing and technology.  Much like Pittsburgh, Detroit has been reinventing itself beyond its traditional roots.  The Governor explained how the state is addressing worker skill gaps by instituting apprenticeship and education and STEM programs.  Working with German-American businesses as well as other groups, the auto industry has transformed itself into a dynamic, profitable and innovative leader.

If you’re wondering, Pittsburgh has several prominent German-owned companies in its portfolio, but there are also many Japanese, UK and Canadian-owned ones, along with Italian, Taiwanese, Dutch, among others. And while there are many Japanese-owned companies in the Columbus area, there are many other countries represented, including Italy. Columbus’s 20/20 initiative is focused on bringing foreign investment to the region.  These businesses prove that the U.S. is still a melting pot.

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