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MICHauto Travels to Tennessee to Explore Talent Solutions

May 2, 2024 Carly-Grace-Bio-2023

Carly Grace | Manager, Mobility Initiatives, MICHauto

Sometimes, you will have the opportunity to step outside of the familiar. These moments are a chance to see how you can change, grow, and gain a new perspective on a seemingly unsolvable problem. Recently, the MICHauto team had the opportunity to take a trip down to Tennessee to visit our friends at Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Corporation to gain insight into how other states are addressing and tackling talent issues, as well as building collaboration.

Thirty of our partners from Michigan community colleges and workforce joined us for the visit. Our hosts provided presentations on curriculum development, community college and technical college partnerships, and upskilling the current workforce. The MICHauto team also toured the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Smyrna Campus to learn from their best practices and to spark ideas of collaboration among all in attendance. Our time with Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Corporation highlighted the importance of working alongside industry to develop a curriculum that will prepare students for a career in mobility.

The MICHauto team also heard from thought leaders in this space at the “Competitiveness Conversation: Tennessee and the Future of Mobility” conference. Topics ranged from sustainability to the future of energy, but each conversation had a similar spirit, an excitement for the future. Each speaker was proud of their state, motivated by the work they have done and what is left to do, not alone but together.

Talent is an issue. This is something we hear daily. As the industry is preparing for the EV transition, talent continues to be a concern for the companies we work with. MICHauto has prioritized growing Michigan’s talent pipeline and strengthening the future workforce. However, we know we cannot do this alone.

MICHauto’s community college and workforce partners are an integral part of advancing Michigan’s mobility workforce.  As we move through this work, the answer to the seemingly unsolvable problem shows itself repeatedly: collaboration.

As the Mobility Initiatives Manager for MICHauto, my passion for working with students stems from my background in social work. Before joining the MICHauto team I worked in Rep. Haley Stevens’s district office where I was exposed to the needs of the automotive and manufacturing industries. Up until then my only exposure to the industry were the stories my dad would tell from his time working at the Willow Run Transmission Plant. During my time with the Congresswoman, I found an exciting and innovative industry full of opportunity for students in the region. With my current role, I can combine my passion for working with students, excitement for the industry, and prioritize collaboration to positively impact the region.

Michigan has a unique position to be a leader in mobility training and curriculum. We know we can get there by prioritizing collaboration and building relationships that will foster the state’s global mobility presence.