The first meeting of the newly-formed Michigan Council of Information Technology Executives was a success and demonstrated its great potential for the future, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today.
“Given the keenly competitive nature of the information technology industry, it is important for Michigan’s regional IT leaders to collaborate wherever possible,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Having many of Michigan’s information technology association leaders represented on this council will go far toward accomplishing that goal.”
The MEDC created the council to facilitate discussions among information technology executives from across Michigan, helping them to recognize common goals and to potential synergies. Fifteen IT executives joined Rothwell and other MEDC experts for the first meeting on August 27.
Likely areas of collaboration identified at the meeting included the following:
· sharing best practices of business attraction and retention;
· identifying under-tapped resources; and
· keeping each other informed about IT events in Michigan.
Allyson Knox, executive director of Information Technology Outreach and Workforce Development at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, offered an example of potential synergies based on a conversation she had at the meeting with Steve Klein, president of the Ann Arbor IT Zone.They discussed plans for a potential Internet2 joint venture between Lansing TechConnect and the Ann Arbor IT Zone.
“I felt the momentum building toward a new direction for our state’s economy,” Knox said. “This council represents thousands of IT companies, and we know that the more we collaborate the more these companies will have the potential to grow.”
Participants at the meeting agreed on first steps for the new group. They will create a common events calendar for IT activities in Michigan and a list of Michigan IT associations to be published on a Web portal. The council also agreed to meet quarterly, with meetings to be held in different parts of the state.
According to Rothwell, the council’s work will help the MEDC market Michigan’s high technology sectors to companies interested in expanding or moving here.
“One thing we know from working with IT companies looking for a new home is that they typically choose a few state locations before they decide on a particular region of the state,” he said.“It is therefore important for our regional IT organizations to cooperate so that we can present a united front to prospective companies.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.
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