Driving Change Conference

The conference was held May 3-4, 2011, in Dearborn, Michigan to unveil the consortium's research findings and enable industrial leaders, educators, workforce development staff and others to collaborate with each other.


Introduction and Welcome

Kristin Dziczek, Director, Labor & Industry Group and Director, Program for Automotive Labor and Education, Center for Automotive Research Download View presentation

Plenary Session

The automotive industry, having shed tens of thousands of workers and suffered through some of the worst sales years in history, has reinvented itself. U.S.-based manufacturers are in a dead heat in terms of productivity, the industry is producing the highest quality vehicles in decades, and both automakers and suppliers are making profits at far lower sales volumes. The industry is investing in advanced technology vehicles, in expanded U.S.-based production, and in training and retraining the workforce. In this session, key industry leaders will set the stage for the day’s events by sharing their vision for the future of automotive work in the United States, with a focus on the three-state Indiana, Michigan and Ohio region.

Moderator: Dr. James Jacobs, President, Macomb Community College and Member, Auto Communities Network Steering Committee


Automotive Technology: Greener Products, Changing Skills

The automotive industry is designing, engineering, manufacturing and marketing more environmentally friendly products. Key drivers include the electrification of the powertrain, the use of advanced materials to lightweight the vehicle, and the implementation of connected vehicles. As the industry works to “green” the vehicle, will the skills requirements change too? This panel will bring together experts from powertrain, materials, and connected vehicle technologies to discuss the changing technologies, and the skills needed to be competitive in the coming decade.

Moderator: Brett Smith, Co-Director, Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology Group, Center for Automotive Research Download View presentation


Automotive Manufacturing & Technology Jobs

The automotive industry is hiring again. The rapid infusion of advanced technologies in both product and process means that not only are more workers needed, but the jobs themselves are changing, too. How many people will be needed? Who will be hired? What types of training and education will be required for new hires, as well as for incumbent workers? This panel will review research results drawn from interviews with automakers and suppliers, and bring in key industry and education leaders to paint a picture of the industry’s future human resource needs.

Co-Moderators: Kristin Dziczek, Director, Labor & Industry Group, Center for Automotive Research Download View presentation

Susan Helper, AT&T Professor of Economics, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University


Retooling the Labor Force: Connecting Today's Workers with Tomorrow's Occupations

Occupations are in transition both within the auto industry and in the broader economy. Is the labor force equipped to make that transition? This panel will review the research findings and the tools that help to answer these questions. This session will present the findings of the tri-state research project to count the number of green jobs in the tri-state region and assess the prospects of green job growth in the short term. Green and growing occupations, inside and outside the auto sector, will be identified. How some autoworkers have successfully migrated to other industries in the last five years will provide tangible clues to new career pathways. New data resources (for autoworkers in particular) to help guide transitions to occupations of the future will be also unveiled. Finally, the panel will respond to research results of the skill-gap analysis that identifies the possible mismatch between skills needed for future occupations and the skills of the incumbent workforce.

Moderator: Dr. Timothy Slaper, Research Director, Indiana Business Research Center, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University Download View presentation


* Please note that Mr. Delmoro was unable to present at the conference but generously allowed his presentation to be posted for distribution.

The Next Employers

Many “green” companies in the region are start-up endeavors, and these smaller companies are a source of job growth in the region. In this session, we will learn about initiatives not only to transition displaced automotive talent into these companies, but also to encourage displaced engineers to start their own companies. Panelists will address:

    • How do the workforce needs of small, agile, entrepreneurial “green” employers differ from those of more established employers?
    • At what stage in a company’s growth are the workforce needs the greatest?
    • What’s different about the type of employee who wants to work for these companies?
    • What type of person are the companies themselves trying to attract?
    • What can the tri-state region do to be a source of the type of talent these companies need?

Moderator: Rick Waclawek, Director, Office of Labor Market Information, Department of Technology, Management and Budget, State of Michigan




Driving Change is funded by the State Labor Market Information Improvement Program of the U.S. Employment and Training Administration.

It is a tri-state consortium of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development; Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget; Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and their strategic partners. This website is maintained by the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Email comments/questions to ibrc@iupui.edu | Privacy Notice