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Valley to Detroit: Motor City Woos Laid-Off Yahoo Employees


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Last week, Yahoo announced that it would cut 2,000 jobs. Given the employee shortage in Silicon Valley, most of the qualified engineers that lost their jobs in this round of cuts will likely land on their feet pretty quickly. For those who just had enough of the Valley, though, Detroit-based Quicken Loans and its family of companies is offering these former Yahoo employees (and anybody else who wants to apply) a chance to move to the Motor City to “be part of something really big.” Quicken, together with Detroit Venture Partners, Rockbridge Growth Equity and Fathead.com, has set up ValleytoDetroit.com to entice Silicon Valley engineers to apply for jobs at their companies and move to Detroit.

The plan here is to offer those who apply an expedited hiring process. The companies will start interviewing applicants immediately and fly final candidates out to Detroit soon after.

Detroit Venture Partners’ CEO and managing partner Josh Linkner argues that there are about 12 start-ups in his company’s portfolio that “would be attractive to those looking to regain the excitement of working in a creative, collaborative and entrepreneurial environment.” Quicken Loans’ CEO Bill Emerson also appeals to the potential applicants’ patriotism by noting that “not only does Detroit make for a great place to start or grow a business, but it’s also a great option for those who want to be on the ground-floor of rebuilding and reinventing a great American city.”

As there is no shortage of engineering jobs in the Silicon Valley right now, it remains to be seen how many of Yahoo’s former employees and other engineers will actually take this offer seriously. There can be little doubt, though, that Detroit is going through a bit of a renaissance lately and as its startup scene continues to grow and as the car industry continues to add more high-end technology to its products, the demand for qualified engineers in the Motor City is destined to increase sharply. Just last week, Twitter announced that it would open a small office in Detroit’s historic Madison Building, which already houses a tech and business incubator — and a fantastic rooftop bar overlooking the Detroit Tigers stadium.