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Oakland County launches initiative to help grow its tech companies

Allyson Limon

Oakland County is launching a new initiative to help grow tech companies. It’s part of the county’s larger effort to diversify its automotive-dominated economy.

Irene Spanos directs economic development for Oakland County. She says it's already home to nearly 2,000 IT and communication firms that employ more than 42,000 people.

“Oakland County goes on these trade missions around the world and we talk about some of the work that some of our tech companies are working on globally – they don’t think that it’s coming from Michigan,” Spanos said, “We need to change that.”

Spanos says an event on Wednesday to launch the effort, known as Tech248, is already sold out. You can find more information about the initiative here.

Spanos says the challenges facing these companies are the same as anywhere in Michigan – they can’t recruit or groom enough good talent, they need more capital investment, and they need people outside of the state to know they exist.

She hopes the new effort will help solve these issues and create more opportunities for collaboration.

“What we’ve seen in the focus group meetings themselves is when you bring tech companies together, the excitement level and the interactivity is supercharged,” she said.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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