Across our industry, you’ll find a desire for skillful, entrepreneurial-thinking talent to shape the future of mobility. Every year, about 55,000 students go to college in Michigan and only 15 percent of those individuals focus their degree in science, technology, engineering or math. To take it further, there’s an expected drop-off in graduates over the next three years. So, why does this matter?
There’s a supply issue to fill positions with top-tier talent that will have a direct effect on Cooper Standard, areas such as product innovation, growth in sustainability and operational efficiency. Products and technologies that incoming talent may invent, or influence could fundamentally change the way we ride and drive.
The automotive industry is experiencing a once-in-a-century industry transformation as technology pushes revolutionary change, catapulting the automotive industry into the future of mobility. In fact, the industry expects to see exponential market growth (in gross domestic product) over the next decade. If we don’t act now, it’s a possibility that we could fall behind as technology continues to grow.
Talent is what creates a competitive advantage. We need the best-in-class to stay ahead in a very fast-paced, evolving market that appeals to customers. The problem that we face is developing the right talent, at the right pace, with the right capabilities to meet the need of the future mobility industry.
Recently, four members of the Michigan Mobility Talent Consortium (MMTC), including Larry Ott, Cooper Standard’s Chief Human Resources Officer, along with approximately 200 representatives from education and industry met at the Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA) Midwest Roundtable on Talent hosted at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island to discuss how best to attract and train students to prepare for the future mobility industry. The purpose of the roundtable was to gather industry and education officials to talk about the priority of building strategic partnerships to grow the mobility industry’s future workforce. With a goal to hit 50% increase or higher in volume of candidates through the strategic talent pipeline, the team explored ways to work together to build a more robust talent pipeline.
The big takeaway is that education and the mobility industry need to work together to effectively communicate potential partnerships. Furthermore, those partnerships need to include government. We must work together to build the right talent to help ensure a successful future for Michigan’s mobility industry.