By Caroline Brooks
The American Dream is undoubtedly tied to the automotive industry and Detroit the city that it has called home – for better or for worse – for over a century. Following many years of challenge and strife, the city of Detroit is turning the page to a new era of resurgence, and Michigan State University is paving the city streets green and white as it funnels young, inventive talent into the auto industry.
To open the 2017 North American International Auto Show, MSU deans Sanjay Gupta of the Broad College of Business and Leo Kempel of the College of Engineering toured the gleaming auto showcases of General Motors with executives, as well as GM production facilities to see their alumni’s innovation at work.
“The Broad College of Business is actively engaged in working with the auto industry in ways that are far-reaching. About 10 percent of our graduates go to work directly in the auto industry,” Gupta said. “As the city of Detroit is rediscovering and reinventing itself, its ability to be successful in that endeavor is highly dependent on individuals who are prepared to lead that transformation,” he said.
Undoubtedly, the city of Detroit has opened its doors to big companies hoping to have an equally large impact on Motor City’s resurgence by tapping into Michigan’s emerging talent. QuickenLoans, Lear, and Amazon have all announced Detroit footprints, with more expected to follow. However, the Big Three will forever be the institutions that put Detroit on the map, and are today being celebrated for rebounding in the automotive industry.
Celebrating its ongoing commitment to the automotive industry and city of Detroit, MSU’s College of Engineering, Broad College of Business, and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences hosted a reception to commence the two-week auto show and events. Michigan State’s president Lou Anna K. Simon welcomed high-profile Detroit alumni, faculty, and, while guests got an insider’s perspective on MSU’s impact on – and future in –the auto industry.
“We’ll play an increasingly important role in Detroit’s success. What Broad has been able to do is work with the budding entrepreneurs in the city in the incubators that are out there and help them in the business side of things,” Gupta said.