State, Lansing-Area Rank High in High-Tech Job Growth

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Since starting up in an Okemos conference room in 2008, East Lansing's Netvantage Marketing has helped all sorts of companies gain visibility on the Internet through search engines, like Google.

It was co-founded by entrepreneur, Joe Ford, who can list companies like General Motors, Hyundai and Suzuki as just a few of his customers. You could truly call Netvantage his baby.

"We've now grown to nine employees," said Ford. "We have an office, here, in East Lansing and we just opened one up in Downtown Grand Rapids, as well."

At only four years old, Netvantage may still be young, but companies like it are helping to increase the number of high-tech jobs in Michigan. In fact, a study, released Thursday by Engine Advocacy, ranked the state third in the nation for high-tech job growth.

On top of that, it ranks the Lansing area sixth in the country for high-tech job growth in the nation's metro areas.

Bob Trezise of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership says, the study reflects a change in mid-Michigan's industries, away from manufacturing, throughout the last five years.

"This should be our expectation now because we are leading the state of Michigan and having big numbers nationally on our economic development efforts in the Lansing region," said Trezise.

Another reason for the high-tech growth is the education at nearby Michigan State University.

"Being around world-class universities is a huge part of that momentum," said Ford.

Mark Kinsler of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation agrees.

"The state has $1.8 billion in federal funding, which is incredibly high," said Kinsler.

As far as the study results on the state go, Kinsler says it shows just how competitive Michigan has become.

"We find a lot of people who really don't understand the progress we've made as a state in a very short time period and we're constantly promoting that message," said Kinsler.

The only state that ranked above Michigan in the study were Delaware and South Carolina.

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