Local Company's Success Boosts Economy

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

LANSING -- This is Matthew Hill's vision -- rooms full of servers, offering Web hosting to hundreds of thousands of companies around the globe

"We're by far the largest hosting company in the state of Michigan," the 28-year-old tech sensation says as we tour his company's newest, 90,000-square foot facility in Lansing.

And the company -- Liquid Web -- is booming.

"We've more than tripled in size since the opening of our last facility, which was in September of 2006," Hill says.

And the mid-Michigan economy, indeed that of the entire state, is benefiting from the company's success.

"With the rapid growth we expect with this product and the interest we've already seen, we expect to create 600 jobs over the next three to four years," Hill says.

Liquid Web's new headquarters, opened Wednesday, will allow the company to hire about 10 new employees every month. Those jobs, of course, spell big benefits down the line for the state's slumping economy.

The bonus? Liquid Web isn't the only company seizing the high-tech opportunity. In fact, economic experts in the region say the so-called "future economy" firms could help pull Michigan's economy out of recession.

"We have a number of different companies in the region: 300, and I think a total of about 4,000 employees in this sector," says Lansing Economic Area Partnership CEO Denyse Ferguson. "It's growing every day and has huge projected growth."

In fact, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth estimates the booming tech services sector could contribute some 40,000 new jobs to the state by 2016 -- a boom that could help change outside perceptions of Michigan as nothing more than a rust-belt state.

"Realistically, we are in the top 5, when you look at high-tech opportunities on a national scale," Ferguson says.

A good-news economic story at a time when Michigan's economy needs it most.


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