MichAuto > Blog > Detroit Auto Show > You Drive the Future: Young People on the Future of Work

You Drive the Future: Young People on the Future of Work

September 15, 2023

Key Takeaways: 

  • By bringing their unique perspectives to work, young people can help create better consumer products.
  • Employers and employees can help boost the Detroit Region’s reputation through a Let’s Detroit partnership.


Today’s automotive and mobility careers are not limited to manufacturing and factory positions like they used to be. MichAuto’s You Drive the Future campaign inspires future job-seekers to discover their potential and purpose in Michigan’s ever-evolving automotive and mobility industry.

MichAuto’s Senior Director, Drew Coleman, sat down with Code Next Community Manager Nando Felten, Ford Motor Company F-150 Lightning Brand Manager Marjace Miles, and University of Michigan student Lucas Stein to learn more about their commitment to the industry’s future by inspiring the workforce of tomorrow.

The Industry is More Personable Than Ever Before

Historically, the workplace does not encourage much employee individuality. However, the panel agreed that the automotive and mobility industry is changing, which provides an excellent opportunity for employees, especially younger generations, to implement their opinions and experiences into the products being created.

“I would just tell them to bring their entire self to work,” Miles said. “… especially in an industry like this, that impacts so many people, including yourself.”

Felten concurred, adding, “Realize that your story…is one of the most important things can [shape the future].”

Take Back the Detroit Narrative and Meet the Youth Where They Are

Later in the conversation, the panel dove into Michigan overcoming challenging perceptions to attract more and young talent. For some of the panelists, it was trying a new place to live, only to find that Michigan was the best place for them, based on the cost of living or for raising a family, as Lucas explained.

“I came back for my family,” Lucas said. “I have a wife and a kid. And I wanted to raise them in my home state. Economics is a big motivating factor and there’s a good family environment.”

To continue increasing positive perceptions of Michigan and the Detroit Region, the Detroit Regional Chamber launched Let’s Detroit to increase the retention of college graduates leaving the state by 1% each year and engage those who wish to return or move to the Detroit Region.

Miles, a Let’s Detroit Ambassador, talked about his experience as an ambassador and his love for the Region.

“We have a fantastic city here in Detroit,” Miles said. “So yes, I joined Let’s Detroit as a career ambassador and essentially telling my story. I’ve been excited to do the work with them as a talent ambassador.”

Let’s Detroit also offers employers an opportunity to directly engage recent graduates and young professionals as part of their talent recruitment and retention efforts. For more information on becoming a partner or ambassador, visit Let’s Detroit’s website here.