Prudential recruiter Regina Walker, right, talks to Spring Arbor University accounting major Daniel Globig, 24, about the company. (Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News)
Detroit — An initiative aimed at connecting Michigan college students and recent grads with jobs in the city drew droves of young people to downtown Saturday.
From Ann Arbor to Mt. Pleasant, more than 200 students flocked to Ford Field downtown for LiveWorkDetroit!, a program co-hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and D:hive — a welcome center that connects people to the resources they need to live and work in the city — to introduce young professionals with opportunities within the city.
Where there would normally be Lions venders home games, job seekers like Indiana University graduate James VandePutte had a wide range of local companies to entertain instead.
“I love Detroit,” said VandePutte, 24, of Clinton Township. “A lot of people in my generation are interested moving back, so I think this is a great event, not to mention as a Lions fan, it’s pretty cool that it’s in Ford Field.”
The program, which had a $15 registration fee, included dinner with a keynote speech by Moosejaw President CEO Eoin Comerford as well as a shuttle service from some universities. Central Michigan University students Shaminul Sahkid, Rezezwana Chouthuny and Md Minhajul Islam expressed their eagerness to explore opportunities around the Metro area, a place that have been very receptive to international students, they said.
“I’m looking forward to to hearing about the job openings, and the free ride from Mt. Pleasant was nice, too, Sahkid said.
The trio is expected to be back on the bus for the second phase of the program, where they will tour restaurants, museums, and affordable places to live before returning to hear from young professionals who’ve established themselves in Detroit.
“Detroit is buzzing with new energy that is creating a dynamic, vibrant place to showcase to young adults with entrepreneurial spirit,” said Mike Finney, President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Detroit is making global headlines for its amazing transformation by attracting new businesses, visitors and young professionals, and we encourage college students to take a close look at all the city has to offer.”
Since 2011, there have been 12 LiveWorkDetroit! events, which have hosted more than 2,500 college students from universities and colleges across the state.