Industry leaders and educators are renewing a focus on the need to provide students with the knowledge, skills and training that is needed for future careers in mobility. As a result, Brose North America, a technological leader in mechatronics, partnered with the Square One Education Network to bring together K-12 educators and automotive industry representatives to address the gap between future talent and mobility.
During the Jan. 14 town-hall-style event, held simultaneously with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), attendees explored industry perceptions among educators and students, revealed the wide array of exciting career opportunities for future graduates, and examined what could be done to attract future employees to the industry.
Working together to prepare students
As the industry continues to evolve toward advanced mobility, this unprecedented shift will impact each area of the market, from talent acquisition and retention to government regulations and societal expectations, including current school curriculums not meeting industry needs. To solve this challenge, there must be alignment from all relevant parties including government, automotive and educational institutions.
“Brose is committed to bridging the talent gap in Michigan, and we recognize the solution must be taken one step at a time,” said Mike Brosseau, President of Brose North America. “We are thrilled to partner with Square One to take these steps and further promote interest in the dynamic, high-tech mobility industry. This event was an ideal opportunity to engage in a robust, informative dialogue from all sides of the industry.”
Brose and Square One collaborated to bring ideas from education and industry together. Leaders from IHS Automotive, MICHauto, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Robert Bosch LLC joined teachers, counselors and administrators from schools throughout southeast Michigan in an open discussion about needs, resources, obstacles and opportunities. The event highlighted the various career paths in the mobility industry, ideas to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and interest, and explored how educators and corporations can better work together to benefit students, schools and the industry.
Presentations from Peter Nagle, Senior Sales Analyst at IHS Automotive, and Glenn Stevens, Vice President of MICHauto and strategic development for the Detroit Regional Chamber, emphasized the rapid advancement of mobility in automotive and how these changes will influence student perception of the industry. While Michigan ranks first in the nation for its concentration of engineering and architecture talent , talent acquisition and retention continue to be an industry-wide issue. Brosseau and Maximiliane Straub, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Robert Bosch LLC, underlined the challenges of creating and fostering partnerships that are both educational and career-driven, and how this inhibits students from being aware of other potential career areas in the industry, such as finance, human resources, design, marketing and more. Additionally, MDOT’s zero fatality goals and focus on a safe future for advanced mobility were addressed by Michele Mueller, Senior Project Manager of connected and automated vehicles. As vehicles will continue becoming more technologically advanced than ever before, automotive careers will have a greater high-tech and innovation focus.
Educators from Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties shared a similar perspective on behalf of students. Teachers, counselors and directors all echoed the need for advanced, STEM-focused curriculum in addition to opportunities for partnerships with automotive companies to encourage interest and give students direct exposure to the industry. Educators also expressed a need to allow for more freedom for students to choose electives, so they can explore new opportunities and interests.
“Square One is incredibly proud to have Brose’s support in fostering relationships between automotive companies and our state’s amazing educators,” said Karl Klimek, Executive Director, Square One. “These incredibly hardworking and dedicated teachers, counselors and school district representatives are pursuing more STEM curricula and hands-on opportunities for their students to demonstrate the tremendous career opportunities ahead of them. We are so pleased to come alongside them and bridge a connection with companies right here in Michigan.”
Brose North America strives to address these challenges, investing resources and time into a talent training program to combine education with hands-on activities and training. In North America and beyond, Brose also offers a global internship and apprenticeship program.
“It’s true that our industry is making strides in creating a positive perception for students. However, we still have a long way to go – Brose is committed to ensuring these talent issues are addressed in an innovative way,” said Brosseau. “We encourage any automotive company to consider doing the same. The future of our industry starts with these very students.”
About Brose North America:
Brose has been a committed partner to the North American market since 1993. The mechatronic specialist now counts eight locations across Canada, the United States and Mexico and employs approximately 5,000 people in the region. The entire range of Brose products is manufactured throughout the North American facilities, from window regulator and door modules to seat systems.
Brose is a partner to the international automobile industry and supplies around 80 car brands and over 40 suppliers with electric motors and mechatronic systems for vehicle doors, liftgates and seat structures. More than 24,000 employees work for the family-owned company at 60 locations in 23 countries and generate over 6 billion euros in turnover. Brose is one of the top 40 automotive suppliers in the world and is the fifth largest family-owned company in the industry.
To find out more about Brose or to apply for a position, please visit www.brose.com
About Square One
Igniting the creative potential of K-12 students in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the hands-on Square One Education Network serves the youth, educators and partners invested in the development of tomorrow’s workforce. This year, Square One will invest $350,000 toward school grants, professional development workshops for teachers, and Innovative Vehicle Design (IVD) Performance Challenge programs. Its work will reach 15,000 students and 400 teachers. Square One is based in Waterford, Mich. For more information, please visit www.squareonenetwork.org , or check us out on Facebook and Twitter, using #SquareOneNet.