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Industry Insiders: Talent Is Out There, But More Awareness of Automotive’s Diverse Careers Needed

Today’s automotive industry is not the same industry of decades past. New, cutting-edge technology and innovation offers the opportunity to pursue the kinds of exciting, high-paying careers that appeal to younger generations.

“Before I had an internship in the automotive industry, I thought it was all engineers,” said Sam Roberts, a student at Oakland University. “I’m a business major focusing on marketing, and I hate math. Once I got into the industry, I saw that there was so much opportunity for whatever degree you have.”

Roberts joined Michael Brosseau, president for Brose North America, Alex Hoolehan, general manager for Southeast Michigan Field Operations-Maven at General Motors Co., and Andrew Ingall, superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, to talk about the perception of the automotive industry and what needs to be done to improve it for the next generation.

“I think the key is to work with kids at younger ages,” Brosseau said. “This summer we had our first high school interns who worked with our team and I think we need to scale that up. I think we can do videos, social media and other things that young people like to interact with.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Exposure should be the No. 1 priority. Most young people do not take interest in the automotive industry because they do not know about its diverse opportunities.
  • Companies are cultivating new and existing talent, but because there is a talent shortage, skilled workers jump from company to company.
  • The workforce of the future is interested in solving problems and is committed to companies that share that same passion. Millennials want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
  • There are careers for people of all education backgrounds and degrees in the automotive industry.