Google granted $250,000 to the Michigan Engineering Zone, a University of Michigan program that provides engineering resources to high school students, at the grand opening of their new office in Detroit. Google opened their regional office in the Little Caesars Arena today, according to the Detroit Free Press. The office moved to the arena from the more suburban area of Birmingham. At its grand opening, Google distributed $1 million of grants dedicated to furthering science and technical education programs in the area. This is the second grant from Google the MEZ has received for its 350-student program, after receiving one two years ago.
This Google office consists of about 100 employees who will work directly with Detroit-based automotive and finance companies. The move comes as a way to better integrate Google with the revitalization of Detroit and its workforce, according to Google’s site leader Danielle Russell.
“Ensuring (Google is) around the people here who are hardworking, deeply committed to community, and ensuring that we pursue that innovation that we see happening all around, is something we really wanted to make sure in this next chapter that we were part of,” Russell told the Free Press.
The two-story office — which consists of a cafeteria, gym and massage room — overlooks downtown Detroit from the south side of the arena. SMASH Detroit also received a grant at the grand opening. The $750,000 grant will help build a facility at Wayne State University to benefit at least 120 SMASH scholars and at least 300 high school students of color in STEM fields.