Economic Advantages

A Diverse Economy

As Detroit continues to diversify its economy, local residents can secure employment at large international manufacturers, small businesses, R&D facilities, professional services companies, construction sites and training centers. While mobility remains king in Detroit, other industries are flourishing, including healthcare, financial services, technology, food, logistics and fashion.

Growing Detroit as a Soft Goods Hub

MyLocker is just one example of how big data and hi-tech production is shortening the time from fashion design to delivery. Technology, innovation and manufacturing excellence is making its way from the auto assembly line to the runway, thanks to a partnership establishing Detroit as a fashion hub. DEGC is part the coalition reimagining Detroit’s global manufacturing leadership into many diverse industries. Other members include Carhartt Inc., Detroit Denim, Lazlo and Shinola. At the center is the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center, which will contract with apparel companies on small clothing orders and serve as an ongoing apprenticeship training center. It’s a perfect model, says ISAIC CEO Jen Guarino. She contends the $2.5 trillion global fashion industry is ripe for the technological advances Detroit has made in manufacturing. 

Success Stories

Joining Detroit’s relief effort to fight COVID-19, workers at ISAIC began sewing isolation gowns in March from a 12,000 sq.-ft. factory on the third floor of Carhartt Inc.’s Midtown Detroit building. Those gowns, and others made by its supply base, filled a $600,000 order from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Detroit Medical Center.

DEGC’s Economic Development & Investment Services team facilitated a tax abatement for the $2.3 million build-out of 1314 Holden St. in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood. It is home base for two budding apparel operations, York Project and Commonwealth Sewing Project. They also pivoted to making personal protective equipment for first responders and medical personnel.

The pandemic has shined a spotlight on how critical it is to have the infrastructure in place to produce domestically. What we’ve done is create a new model for a new ecosystem for apparel manufacturing tapping into Detroit’s DNA.

–Jen Guarino, ISAIC CEO

Transportation Infrastructure

A map showing all the cities in the US and Canada that are within 500 miles of Michigan

Michigan is located within 500 miles of half of the population and income of the USA and Canada.

Border Crossing

Detroit offers multiple U.S.-Canada border crossings, including commuter tunnel, rail tunnel, Ambassador Bridge, and the New “Gordie Howe” Bridge to open in 2024.

Detroit is the second busiest U.S. port of entry on the U.S.-Canadian border, with $41.4 Billion of imports/exports in 2019.

Detroit is the largest City located immediately on the US-Canadian Border.

Airports

60% of the U.S. population is accessible by a 90-minute flight from Detroit Metro Airport (DTW).

DTW has 105 direct domestic destinations and 18 direct international destinations including Beijing, China; Frankfurt, Germany; and Toronto, Canada.

Other Detroit-area airports include Willow Run Airport (transporting over 200 million lbs. of cargo annually) and Coleman A. Young International Airport.

Interstates

Railroads

Michigan has a completely toll-free highway system and immediate access to the Interstate Freeway System (I-75, I-94, I-96, I-275, I-696).

Detroit has direct access to four of the seven Class I railroads in the U.S.

Interstates

Railroads

Michigan has a completely toll-free highway system and immediate access to the Interstate Freeway System (I-75, I-94, I-96, I-275, I-696)

Detroit has direct access to four of the seven Class I railroads in the U.S.

Workforce and Training

World-class education and training resources in the Detroit region are steadily growing the city’s skilled talent pool.

Twenty-four top higher education institutions are within 250 miles of Detroit.

Southeast Michigan’s University Research Corridor ranks first in enrollment in the U.S. with over 156,000 students in 2018, including Wayne State University, Michigan State University and University of Michigan.

Partners

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation logo
Detroit Promise logo
Downtown Detroit Partnership Logo

Let Us Help You Learn More About Detroit’s Economic Advantages

David White

Director National/Regional Business Attraction