It’s officially autumn, which means it’s that time of year when high schools and colleges are welcoming back alumni. Every November, Ann Arbor SPARK hosts a different type of homecoming — Tech Homecoming — where we welcome job seekers returning to the region for the Thanksgiving holiday and connect them with companies currently hiring top talent.
Tech Homecoming provides that ideal environment for job seekers to connect with the people that shape the local tech industry. This relaxed, happy hour-style event is in stark contrast to formal job fairs. Instead, job seekers and companies alike appreciate the casual atmosphere and pressure free evening.
The first year NetWorks Group, a downtown Ann Arbor-based IT security services company, participated in Tech Homecoming, the company met with a job seeker who ended up joining the team. “We had a real nice win at our first Tech Homecoming,” said David Howard, vice president of business development. “We hired somebody who had moved into the area because his wife was attending the University of Michigan. He was working remotely for a different tech company and wanted to find something nice in Ann Arbor. It ended up being a great fit for both of us and he now has a key role on our leadership team.
This November will be NetWorks Group third year participating in Tech Homecoming, joining 12 other companies. According to David, “Tech Homecoming helps us check-in with the local industry, catch-up with our peers, and what the talent market is like.”
In fact, access to local talent is one of the key reasons NetWorks Group relocated to downtown Ann Arbor seven years ago. Before joining the organization, David worked remotely for a Silicon Valley company that partnered with NetWorks Group. “I kept encouraging NetWorks Group to relocate here and benefit from an environment that attracts talent and where people want to come work,” said David. “Little did I know that I’d eventually be a part of the team. There’s a great energy being right down here on Main Street — we’re in the center of it all.”
That energy that David described is fueled by the 220+ tech and venture capital businesses located in the downtown area, employing more than 3,000 dedicated professionals. Of course, there’s also the mouth-watering restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and must-attend special events that keep the city active all year long.
Another benefit of the Ann Arbor tech ecosystem is the number of options available here for anyone interested in making a move. “In the past, I received career opportunities that would have me move out of state to areas that don’t have environments like this,” David said. “I didn’t do it because you don’t know how the world is going to change. Pick any tech company and I don’t know where they will be in five or 10 years. But I know there is a community here, with lots of opportunities for growth — within a given organization and within the local industry.”
Registration for Tech Homecoming is now open! Learn more and see which of Ann Arbor’s companies will be participating.