DETROIT — Google this week officially opened its new office alongside Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit and marked the occasion by awarding a $750,000 grant to SMASH Detroit and another $250,000 To the Michigan Engineering Zone at the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center.
SMASH Detroit (an initiative of the Kapor Center) which works to eliminate barriers and empower underrepresented youth of color with rigorous science, technology, engineering and math education, culturally-relevant coursework and access to resources that will allow them to pave a successful career in tech and entrepreneurship. The grant will specifically support their newly launched site in Detroit at Wayne State University as well as area students for three years, including 120 SMASH scholars and at least 300 high school students who will benefit from broader programming.
“A huge thanks to Google.org for their support and belief in diversity and inclusion and programs like SMASH,” said John Ray, SMASH Wayne State Site Director. “This grant will be instrumental in helping build the future talent our communities and economy need by creating opportunities for many deserving students who may otherwise not have that chance simply because of the zip code they live in.”
Google.org also granted $250,000 to the Michigan Engineering Zone at the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center. The reinvestment grant to the MEZ builds upon the company’s $250,000 award two years ago and will help expand STEM and robotics programming for 350 students year-round.
Google’s new office, located at 52 E. Henry St, just under 30,000 square feet, features local Motor City artists, history, landmarks and icons throughout. It was showcased during a grand opening and open house with the help of federal, state and local officials, leaders of diverse business and community sectors, and the 100 plus Detroit Googlers excited to share their new digs with guests.
“We’re excited about growing in Michigan and being in a city like Detroit renowned for its spirit, grit, culture and innovation,” said Google Detroit Site Lead Danielle Russell. “Those are the same traits that help fuel Google. We’re more than committed to be a good and active neighbor and doing work that can help the city and all who live, work and do business here thrive.”
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters on hand for the office opening said: “Michigan is home to a sophisticated manufacturing and technology ecosystem that is making groundbreaking advances in mobility that will transform transportation,” said Senator Peters. “Google’s opening in Detroit is recognition of Michigan’s future as a hub for innovation for years to come.”
During the past 12 years Google’s presence in the state has grown. The company’s economic impact now stretches across Michigan, with offices that have become home to over 600 employees working on teams across Sales, YouTube and Engineering, including teams from Alphabet’s subsidiary company Waymo.