Carl Arft has happy memories of growing up in Dexter, creating hand-painted figurines at the What's It Shop and eating at the Captain's Table. So he was happy to recommend that his employer, SiTime, open its first North American location outside of Silicon Valley at 2830 Baker Rd., Suite 200, in Dexter.
The new office officially opened May 1 with a staff of four, led by Arft. He says he expects "rapid growth" and that the Michigan location will become "a key contributor to the company’s future success."
SiTime produces microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based timing solutions used in products ranging from mobile phones to self-driving vehicles. Arft, the company's senior director of systems engineering, has been working for SiTime since 2006. After going back to Dexter for a family visit in 2015, Arft proposed to SiTime CEO Rajesh Vashist that SiTime open a Michigan office in Arft's hometown.
The greater Ann Arbor area was a good choice, Arft says, because of "the tremendous talent and research" coming out of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Having an office in southeast Michigan also allows SiTime to collaborate more closely with automotive companies that are driving the growth of automated and connected vehicle innovations.
Arft says Dexter offers a great quality of life, a top-ranked school system, and more affordable and varied housing options for employees than Ann Arbor does. He says he thinks Dexter is on the cusp of a big transformation and is excited for SiTime to be part of that.
"Between 2000 and 2010, the population of Dexter almost doubled, making it one of the fastest-growing communities in the state," he says. "Interestingly, the median household income in Dexter is now higher than Ann Arbor. What this says to me is that successful people are choosing to relocate to Dexter in significant numbers."