Mobility Sector Could Draw 100,000 New Jobs to Michigan


tMichigan has the potential to gain 100,000 new jobs relating to advanced powertrain, weight reduction systems, and smart/connected transportation technologies, says a report released Wednesday by the Business Leaders of Michigan.

tWhile the state is well positioned to compete in powertrain and light-waiting technologies, it faces challenges from other competitive hubs in mobility, or the area of smart and connected transportation, says Jay Baron, president and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

tThe effort includes products associated with transporting people and goods; sophisticated connectivity technology in vehicles to assist drivers with navigation, parking, road conditions, and safety; and multi-modal and intermodal solutions that integrate personal vehicles with public transit activities. It will also help reduce congestion and emissions.

t“No place has a greater concentration of the auto industry, but Michigan must have a sharper focus and build greater public-private collaboration to ensure continued leadership as the industry evolves,” Baron says.

tIn an effort to position the state as a leader in the mobility industry, the Business Leaders’s mobility strategy — one of six included in the Michigan Turnaround Plan — outlines the following actions:

  • ttLeadership: Support the creation of a state-level position/function to facilitate government’s role in growing the automotive and mobility industries. Other key leadership elements include an inter-agency partnership and the establishment of a private-sector mobility leadership group focused on implementing BLM’s recommendations
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  • ttMarketing: Launch a marketing and branding campaign to support Michigan's strengths and aspirations in the automotive and mobility industries
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  • ttStrategic: Attract and create high-stature advanced mobility conferences and events in Michigan, anchored by economic development and B2B opportunities
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  • ttTalent development: Support the pipeline of new employees into Michigan’s mobility industry and design/offer education programs for universities and trade schools that deliver skill sets for future roles; support strong programs with adequate financial/tax incentives
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  • ttCollaboration: Develop a focused collaboration, research, and testing initiative, and work to attract mobility research centers. The state should explore competitive financial support models to attract critical future R&D investments
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  • ttCapital attraction: Support the development of additional sources of financial capital, including venture capital, private investment, and innovative business arrangements to attract new funds

t“This strategy provides an exciting, fact-based roadmap to grow one of our state’s most important industries,” says Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of BLM. “Currently, Michigan is home to 70 percent of all U.S. automotive R&D expenditures, and 13 percent of global R&D spending. Coupled with the state’s top ranking as a home to engineers, (along with a) high concentration of smart and connected test beds and pilot deployments, Michigan is well-positioned to soar as a leader of automotive innovation.”

tTo read the full mobility strategy, click here.