EV and Mobility Careers in Michigan | Livestream

MEDC Communications

Friday, March 3, 2023

Michigan is home to the fifth-largest advanced manufacturing workforce in the country, with the highest volume of mechanical and industrial engineers in the U.S.. The state’s research and development capacity is second to none. In 2022 alone, Team Michigan attracted more than $14 billion for electric vehicle and battery investments.

As growth continues to accelerate, Michigan companies have 3,000+ job openings in the electrification and mobility sector today and thousands more that will be created in the years ahead. Filling these jobs will be critical to not only our state's success, but to the future of mobility and how we develop, design, manufacture and deploy the next generation of mobility technology. That is where Michigan’s Talent Action Team comes in.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II recently joined MEDC’s Chief Talent Solutions and Engagement Officer Kerri Ebersol Singh and leaders from business and higher education for a conversation on how Michigan’s Talent Action Team is leading the effort to fill thousands of positions in this dynamic, fast-growing sector right here in Michigan. Participating panelists included Leo Kempel, Dean of the Michigan State University College of Engineering; Eric Michielssen, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan; Dennis Livesay, Dean of the College of Computing at Michigan Tech; Denise Gray of LG Energy Solutions; and Dr. Deeana Ahmed, Vice President of Sustainability at Our Next Energy.

Watch the full livestream here, and see select highlights from the conversation below.

Michigan EV Scholars program helps private-sector businesses fill high-value job openings
Dr. Deeana Ahmed, Our Next Energy: Our Next Energy was founded in Silicon Valley, but brought back to Michigan because of the talent and expertise that is found here in the state. With our product development facility here in Novi, Michigan, and the announcement of our $1.6 billion investment for a facility located in Van Buren Township, we're going to bring over 2100 jobs to the state. The work Michigan is doing to amplify their workforce development, get students interested and involved, and support the growth of this industry is really valuable.

Denise Gray, LG Energy Solutions: LG Energy Solution continues to be committed to promoting sustainability, electrification and innovation. We know how important it is to not just provide the battery cells, but support the entire ecosystem and supply chain, from the raw materials, through manufacturing and then recycling. Our commitment to this ecosystem has been possible because of our partnerships here in Michigan. I recognize the importance of supporting the talent pool that is right here in Michigan, and at LG Energy Solutions, our commitment is to our people. That’s why our company was enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the MEDC’s Talent Action Team.







Partnership with universities provides essential academic and recruitment opportunities
Lt. Garlin Gilchrist II: Governor Whitmer and I are excited to unveil the Michigan Electric Vehicle Scholars initiative, the largest campaign that we've had in Michigan to recruit the talent and fill the jobs in Michigan's electric vehicle sector. We are ensuring Michigan leads the future of mobility electrification like we have for the last 100 plus years, and doing so in a way that enables us to continue to lower costs and create opportunity for Michigan families, create jobs and spur economic development, diversity and opportunity all across state of Michigan.

Kerry Ebersole-Singh: The Michigander EV Scholars campaign will build a network of university students interested in EV and mobility careers. This is not our father's or grandfather's auto industry anymore. The success of the Michigander EV scholars is fully dependent on having higher education institutions with strong engineering programs that are willing to partner with us.

Eric Michielssen, University of Michigan: We face high stakes here in the state of Michigan when it comes to this EV transition. And we're all in agreement that collaborative initiatives like the Michigan EV Scholars Program are absolutely critical to maintain our leadership position in the automotive sector. Here at the University of Michigan, we're thrilled to partner on this transformative initiative with MEDC. Training this next generation of talent that fuels the Michigan economy, specifically as it relates to electric vehicles is central to the mission of the University of Michigan.

The Michigan EV Scholars Program is a great complement to our initiatives like MCity and the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation because it allows us to scale these projects beyond our own campus, to the benefit of our students, and to the benefit of the entire state.

Leo Kempel, Michigan State University: The United States is at the cusp of another automotive revolution. Once again, the state of Michigan and Michigan State University will be at its epicenter. MSU is proud to be a place where we are preparing the world's next generation of thinkers and doers. Leaders who will help our state further its mobility prowess.

MSU has a strong historical legacy of achievement in the EV and mobility space. From constructing the largest solar carport array in North America, to announcing our plans to convert nearly 370 internal combustion engine vehicles in MSU’s fleet to fully electric vehicles over the next decade, our commitment is to a greener future.

Our strategic plan challenges us to take action to create a better tomorrow for our university and for those we serve. Our partnership with the Michigan Talent Action Team on the Michigander EV Scholars Program signals to the entire Spartan Nation and beyond that the future of EVs has arrived.

Dennis Livesay, Michigan Tech: Michigan Tech is eager to partner with the Talent Action Team to help Michigan stay at the forefront of the EV industry. Through the development of cutting edge technologies and our strong academic programs, we are supporting a new generation of EV leaders to usher in a new wave of safer, cleaner and more accessible ways of moving people and freight.

There are several efforts at Michigan Tech to directly address two critical supply chain needs: batteries and software. We received over $8 million in federal research grants to develop and extend the technologies needed for recycling and reuse of EV batteries. We have also reorganized to create Michigan's first and only College of Computing. We did this to make sure that the state has access to the critical talent needed in the areas of software development, computer science, cybersecurity, AI, and all related disciplines.

Michigan Tech’s College of Computing reflects our commitment to being a leader in the fourth industrial revolution. We also want to make sure that no one gets left behind. So we're eager to work with the talent action team to develop and deliver professional training programs, both upskilling and reskilling that will help our most precious resource, our people continue to have opportunities to thrive.

Kerry Ebersole-Singh: The theme here is about right-sizing the pipeline of talent. We want to make sure that we are supporting our higher ed partners, to be prepared to embrace the increased talent pool needs and lead cutting-edge technologies.

The talent action team is also partnering during this first year pilot phase with the Michigan Works! system. We are beginning with West Michigan Works in 2023 and we'll be expanding to other regions beyond that. The talent action team will help the MWAs enhance their talent pipelines and recruitment services to broaden outreach.

With our legacy of automotive innovation, we know that our forward-thinking approach to investment, attraction, retention and talent development puts Michigan on track to lead the globe by 2030 and beyond.


For students and job-seekers looking to drive their future forward in an EV or Mobility career, or learn more about the EV scholars program, visit michiganevjobs.org. For companies looking to connect with the Talent Action Team to find skilled and emerging talent for your company, visit michiganbusiness.org/talent-action-team.

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