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Connected and Automated Vehicles May Be Next Frontier For Transportation – But Are We Ready?

According to a new Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) Skills Gap report companies focused on this sector must work together more collaboratively to identify and put forth industry standards for job skills and future training in order to develop the workforce necessary for ensuring Michigan’s leadership role in intelligent transportation systems. Workers related to CAV currently come from a diverse array of occupations, including engineering and IT, which do not yet have government occupation codes developed to provide a roadmap for emerging skills needs, training, and an adequate understanding of employer needs.

The report – which analyzes data on CAV workforce demographics, employment trends, and demand by employers across the country with an emphasis on Michigan – was developed by the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) and the Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS Center) at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), with support from the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC).
Between October 2015 and September 2016, the greatest demand for CAV-related occupations included IT, information security, and computer systems, yet workers with experience in this relatively new technology are often difficult for employers to locate. The top three occupations, software developers, information security analysts, and computer systems engineers, are associated with cyber-security, IT design, and managing the data related to connected transportation systems. Connections between employers and the talent system, including community colleges, workforce boards, universities and four-year colleges must be strengthened to enhance training and job placement for both the current and future workforce.

“As companies in the U.S. and around the world pursue CAV technology, it is critical to identify and understand the workforce demands here in Michigan,” said Lisa Katz, executive director, WIN. “Without the proper talent pipeline in place, jobs that will be key contributors to the vitality of our future economy will be lost to out-of-state competition.”

National job postings for CAV-related positions were most dense in Detroit, Washington D.C., Boston, and Baltimore between 2015 and 2016. As each region develops its own CAV specialty, most such work is complex and requires workers to have a deep understanding of engineering, mathematics and IT.

Katz added, “Talent requirements for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher opens new opportunity for community colleges to provide the base-line training or upskilling for current and future workers.”

“This work represents an important step for the ATLAS Center in supporting education and workforce development,” says Lisa J. Molnar, Associate Director of the ATLAS Center. “The ATLAS Center continues to strive to help develop a transportation workforce capable of designing and maintaining the complex transportation systems of the future.”

The full report can be viewed at: http://www.win-semich.org/CAV-report/.

For more research and data from WIN, or a custom analysis, please visit: www.win-semich.org.

ABOUT WORKFORCE INTELLIGENCE NETWORK FOR SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN (WIN)
The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between ten community colleges and six Michigan Works! Agencies, in partnership with numerous other organizations, to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success. WIN covers a 16-county area, including Genesee, Hillsdale, Huron, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw, and Wayne. WIN was founded with the support of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan and publicly launched in November 2011.

About the Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (Atlas Center)
The Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS Center) is a Tier 1 University Transportation Center led by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in collaboration with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). The Center is a nationally recognized leader in research, education/workforce development, and technology transfer dedicated to finding and promoting integrated solutions for transportation safety. This research was supported by ATLAS Center. The ATLAS Center is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Transportation, University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program (DTRT13-G-UTC54).

About the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC)
The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative (AMDC) is a group of organizations that provides immediate and sustained assistance to firms and workers in a 13-county region in Southeast Michigan affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement. The group coordinates assistance to organizations that promote research, industrial development, and talent development relevant to the defense industry. Efforts support resiliency and capacity in autonomous transportation and connected mobility, lightweight materials manufacturing sector, and information technology, with a focus on increasing security of automated transportation systems and products. The core coalition of partners includes the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board, Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan, Michigan Defense Center-an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Merit Network, and Macomb County Office of Economic Development and Planning.