Automation Alley, the Troy-based technology industry promotion group, Wednesday released data showing how metro Detroit stacks up against competing regional economies in the tech world.

The data, released at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference, highlight the importance of creating business opportunities through military contracts, exports, workforce development, and collaboration with other economic development agencies.

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The data “prove that there’s significant growth potential for our region in key market sectors, specifically, advanced automotive, advanced  manufacturing, chemical and material, IT, and life sciences,” said Ken Rogers, executive director of Automation Alley. “Automation Alley’s strong engineering and science workforce, combined with its manufacturing  facilities and research centers, are a solid foundation on which our economy will grow.”

Specifically, Automation Alley found that metro Detroit, compared to competing regional economies nationwide, ranked:

* No. 1 in advanced automotive industry jobs
* No. 1 in architectural and engineering services jobs
* No. 2 in number of people working in architectural and engineering occupations
* No. 5 in percentage of total employment (13.7 percent) in technology industry sectors, and No. 1 in the Midwest
* No. 5 in absolute number of jobs within technology industry sectors

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“This report clearly shows that Southeast Michigan, with more than a quarter-million technology industry jobs and a greater concentration of engineers and architects than any other region, remains a powerful economic center and is well positioned to help lead the U.S. into the ‘next economy’,” said Patrick Anderson, principal of Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group.

Anderson Economic Group conducted the research behind the report.

The report, titled “Automation Alley: Growing the Detroit Region’s Technology Economy,” also found that more than 253,000 employees worked for regional technology businesses. Of the MSAs with similar population levels, only Dallas and Boston had more technology industry jobs than did the Detroit region. The region was the leader in the advanced automotive sector, accounting for 9.3 percent of all advanced automotive jobs in the United States.

Additional key findings detailed in Automation Alley: Growing the Detroit Region’s Technology Economy include the strong correlations between economic success and concentration of academia. Defense operations were also found to have a strong effect on economic success.

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