DETROIT (WXYZ) - Governor Rick Snyder was back at Cobo Center Thursday, to celebrate the arrival of the FIRST Robotics Global Championship to Detroit in 2018..
The governor appeared alongside General Motors VP of product integrity Ken Morris and FIRST founder and famed inventor Dean Kamen to welcome the event to the Motor City. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international, K-12 nonprofit that inspires young people's interest and participation in science and technology, and the program engages more than 400,000 students annually worldwide.
This is especially important as employers fight to fill a surplus of STEM jobs with qualified workers - FIRST alumni are twice as likely to major in science or engineering, and more than 75% are in a STEM job or education program. Detroit is a natural fit to host FIRST Championship with its strong ties to the automotive and engineering industries. Historically, FIRST Championship has attracted tens of thousands of attendees and brings roughly $30 million to its host city's economy.
Gov. Snyder and General Motors CEO Mary Barra are honorary co-chairs of the FIRST Championship Detroit Host Committee. This is especially important, as STEM occupations are growing 1.7 times faster than non-STEM careers. Detroit alone boasts 60 FIRST teams. Detroit is well-positioned to host this global event, thanks in large part to the automotive industry.