01 Oct 2013

Calling Dan Gilbert: Our solution to Detroit’s youth unemployment issue

1 Comment finance and economics

Nearly a quarter of youth in the United States are unemployed:

First
 
And Detroit’s unemployment rate, though steadily improving, is at 18.8%, over double the national average of 7.7%, according to the latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Second
 

High youth unemployment multiplied by a high unemployment area yields a 59% youth unemployment rate, according to Data Driven Detroit.

Kids graduating from Michigan State and University of Michigan are leaving the state to find jobs elsewhere. 

Yet companies like Grand Circus, part of Detroit Venture Partners, exist to train up world class technologists. Quicken Loans relocated most of their staff in Detroit– with 9,200 working downtown now.  Bizdom is a startup accelerator that is ranked one of the nation’s 10 best.

And though the city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy ever in July, at $18 billion dollars, the area is ranked #3 in the nation for finding a tech job.

Dan Gilbert, the outspoken billionaire who is behind many of the initiatives to rebuild Detroit, says Detroit’s best days are to come.

We visited with a few of the portfolio companies this past week to witness first-hand the entrepreneurial energy.

 
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                                              My New Friend Tony!

We met some of the folks at Detroit Venture Partners, the head of training and development at Quicken Loans, the CEO of OneReverseMortgage,

the social team at Quicken Loans, an independent film studio, Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy, and a few others. 

 

We saw downtown revitalized, safe. A picture from the rooftop pool of our hotel:

 
rooftoppool

 

Yet many still are misinformed. Witness opinions on what it’s like to be in Detroit.

Here is a good example:

posts
 

And at the end of this trip, we found ourselves saying that we’d actually consider moving our company to Detroit.  

Why?

  • Strong labor pool– more loyal than in San Francisco and at lower cost.
  • Tight community– a network of companies that supports one another, unlike New York City.
  • Vision– We’ve drank Dan Gilbert’s Kool-Aid, as we believe strongly in teaching young graduates and creating employment.

Dan– if you’re reading this..

Put some money in our company and we’ll move folks to Detroit to grow our business here, plus train and recruit locally. Let me show you our plan for Detroit.

My cell is: (817) 913-0780.

We want to achieve greatness in creating MASSIVE employment in the tech sector– doesn’t matter if it’s lead generation for Quicken Loans or driving sales for the local mold remediation company.

The principles are the same and highly scalable with gamification techniques, which those of all ages understand.

We are relentless to find a way.

And we expect to hear a YES before NO.

This post was edited and posted by Drake Grey, an analyst on his very first day with our company. He’s 21 and would be excited to move to Detroit.

What do you say?

Best regards,
Dennis Yu
Chief Executive Officer, BlitzMetrics

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written by
Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of Portage. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook marketing, having been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. He is also an author at InsideFacebook and AllFacebook. Dennis has held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines. He studied Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics. Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you. You can contact him at dennis@portage.co, his blog, or on Facebook.
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One Response to “Calling Dan Gilbert: Our solution to Detroit’s youth unemployment issue”

  1. Reply What does a good Facebook engagement campaign look like? - Alex Houg says:

    […] business partner, Dennis, wrote a blog post targeting Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans.  He got only a few […]

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