Calling Dan Gilbert: Our Solution to Detroit’s youth unemployment issue

Nearly a quarter of youth in the United States are unemployed:

And Detroit’s unemployment rate, though steadily improving, is at 18.8%, over double the national average of 7.7%, according to the latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

High youth unemployment multiplied by a high unemployment area yields a 59% youth unemployment rate, according to Data Driven Detroit.

Kids graduating from Michigan State and the University of Michigan are leaving the state to find jobs elsewhere. 

Yet companies like Grand Circus, part of Detroit Venture Partners, exist to train world-class technologists. Quicken Loans relocated most of their staff to Detroit– with 9,200 working downtown now.  Bizdom is a startup accelerator that is ranked one of the nation’s 10 best.

And though the city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy ever in July, at $18 billion dollars, the area is ranked #3 in the nation for finding a tech job.

Dan Gilbert, the outspoken billionaire who is behind many of the initiatives to rebuild Detroit, says Detroit’s best days are to come.

We visited with a few of the portfolio companies this past week to witness first-hand the entrepreneurial energy.

                                              My New Friend Tony!

We met some of the folks at Detroit Venture Partners, the head of training and development at Quicken Loans, the CEO of OneReverseMortgage,

the social team at Quicken Loans, an independent film studio, Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy, and a few others. 


We saw downtown revitalized, and safe. A picture from the rooftop pool of our hotel:



Yet many still are misinformed. Witness opinions on what it’s like to be in Detroit.

Here is a good example:


And at the end of this trip, we found ourselves saying that we’d actually consider moving our company to Detroit.  


  • Strong labor pool– more loyal than in San Francisco and at a lower cost.
  • Tight community– a network of companies that supports one another, unlike New York City.
  • Vision– We’ve drunk Dan Gilbert’s Kool-Aid, as we believe strongly in teaching young graduates and creating employment.

Dan– if you’re reading this.

Put some money in our company and we’ll move folks to Detroit to grow our business here, plus train and recruit locally. Let me show you our plan for Detroit.

My cell is (817) 913-0780.

We want to achieve greatness in creating MASSIVE employment in the tech sector– doesn’t matter if it’s lead generation for Quicken Loans or driving sales for the local mold remediation company.

The principles are the same and highly scalable with gamification techniques, which those of all ages understand.

We are relentless to find a way.

And we expect to hear a YES before a NO.

This post was edited and posted by Drake Grey, an analyst on his very first day with our company. He’s 21 and would be excited to move to Detroit.

What do you say?

Best regards,
Dennis Yu
Chief Executive Officer, Content Factory

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