Traverse City Record-Eagle


April 8, 2014

Michigan to boost efforts for auto jobs

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan plans to boost efforts to attract and retain automotive industry jobs in engineering and design, software and coding, systems integration and skilled trades, officials said.

Nigel Francis, the state’s senior automotive adviser, this week plans to outline details of a 30-year strategic plan that aims to elevate Michigan’s status as a global auto industry leader. As part of the effort, officials said, jobs in Michigan will be a top priority.

“Our focus must be on consolidating our resources to support the needs of Michigan’s automotive and manufacturing industries,” Francis, senior vice president with the Michigan Automotive Industry Office at the Michigan Economic Development Corp., said in a statement.

“The ongoing challenge is to anticipate and respond to emerging trends, and act with a clear purpose to create meaningful and collaborative solutions for Michigan-based automotive companies.”

To start, the plan seeks to strengthen ties between the auto industry and the public sector. It draws on recommendations of group of auto industry consultants.

According to the state, Michigan is home to 65,000 engineers, 70,000 research-and-development professionals and tens of thousands of skilled trade workers. In addition to operations of major automakers, dozens of auto industry parts suppliers are based in the state.

Francis is expected to discuss the plan on Tuesday at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2014 World Congress & Exhibition at Cobo Center in Detroit. The 3-day event runs through Thursday and attracts those involved in areas including engineering, research design, development and marketing.

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