Copyright 2024 SPARK

Written by Phil Santer, Senior Business Development Manager, Livingston County

I’ve just returned from Ann Arbor SPARK’s latest MichAGAIN event in Washington, DC. We had the opportunity to hear from Bill Milliken, who returned to Michigan after working in DC with NASA, and some terrific organizations about their growth in Michigan and why this area is a great place to work, live and grow.

The message was particularly appealing to me– I moved back to Michigan after spending a couple of years in DC after college. The difference is that when I moved back, the country was falling into a recession and Michigan’s unemployment rate was dramatically increasing as a result. Compared to today, moving back to Michigan made little sense at the time (of course, coming back to marry a terrific person made that decision much easier).

The reality is that, as of August, there are nearly 57,000 job openings in the Detroit area alone (, and plenty of quality, high-level positions available in the Ann Arbor region. That type of availability, combined with opportunities for advanced education at some terrific schools, a network of really talented people, and living in a place most people still consider “home,” means returning just makes sense.

As with all MichAGAIN events, a terrific, talent-ridden group joined us to discuss these opportunities and consider coming back. Next month, we’ll be bringing this message to Chicago.