NEI Story Quick Facts
Grant: URC Global Talent Retention Initiative (GTRI)
Grant Amount Total: $450,000
Grant Period: 6/1/2011 - 7/3/2014
- Support for the University Research Corridor to help connect international students to businesses in Southeast Michigan
Being brilliant knows no boundaries. That’s why it is so important with the GTRI that we get people now.
- Dano Bennet, Vectorform
Global Talent Retention Initiative
Michigan’s universities produce world class research and propel technological advances that greatly benefit our economy and global society. In addition, they attract top level talent from around the world who come to this state for their studies. International students make up a significant percentage of the students completing advanced degrees and PhDs at local universities. We also know that immigrants have a disproportionate impact on our economy, having created nearly a third of high tech firms in the state between 1995 and 2005.
That is why the GTRI is critically important. As the first and only known organization of its kind, GTRI helps match highly skilled international students with local employers facing staffing issues due to a local workforce talent gap. This work helps international students remain in Michigan after graduation through employment. GTRI helps introduce employers to the international talent coming out of our universities, and helps those students acculturate to living and working in Michigan.
Though many don’t realize it, Southeast Michigan is home to one of the country’s cutting edge technology strategy and design firms. Vectorform designs apps and technology interfaces for some of the largest brands in the world, including Coca Cola, Microsoft, Google, Disney, and Volkswagen. Plus, Vectorform is widely recognized as a great place to work. It was named one of Michigan’s healthiest workplaces by Crain’s Detroit Business.
Vectorform believes that it is years ahead of competitors, but finding the right talent to keep it ahead is a challenge. That’s why Vectorform has turned to GTRI to help it identify international students who are graduating from Michigan’s universities with the skills needed to keep the company on the cutting edge.
Avinash Konkani made his way to Oakland University from India by way of Ohio, where he did his undergraduate studies. Nearing the completion of his PhD in engineering, Avinash has engaged with GTRI to help connect him with opportunities to stay and work in Michigan. GTRI is introducing Avinash to resources and employers that can help him keep his talents in state.