When Is A Banner Not Just A Banner?

The answer to that riddle: When it carries a symbolic message of hope, renewal and opportunity. That is exactly what occurred this past week in Detroit as a 10-story “banner” was unfurled from the top of the 20-story 1001 Woodward Building in Campus Martius, across from Compuware. The new message from high atop the downtown skyline? Outsource to Detroit.

We’ve discussed the campaign previously, post Mackinac Conference, when the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce adopted the mantra and movement to promote via their “To Do” list for the year. It’s importance, however, bears repeating, both for its genesis as well as its evolution.

Outsource to Detroit represents the incredible fact, first uncovered by IT leader and Tanner Friedman client GalaxE.Solutions, that, for perhaps the first time ever, high-level, well-paying IT work can be conducted in a city such as Detroit at price points competitive with offshore. Moreover, there is a new, emerging trend: issues related to inferior quality from offshore-based firms mean an opportunity to repatriate even more jobs back to the U.S.

And, with this burgeoning IT cluster developing here (with GalaxE, Quicken, Compuware, VisionIT and others), Washington is paying attention and looking for ways to help bolster and promote it.  In fact, two high ranking Obama administration officials, John Fernandez and Michael Strautmanis, have traveled here in the past two months to see things for themselves.

A banner? A mantra? No, Outsource to Detroit is much, much, more: a tangible symbol of Detroit’s continued rebirth and the promise of better things to come.