Conference Agenda

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Location: The Henry Ford Museum and Technology Demonstrations

1:30 p.m. Registration

2 p.m. Technology Demonstrations (descriptions)

  • Vehicle Final Assembly
  • Engine/Powertrain Assembly
  • Battery Production
  • Advanced Vehicle Technology Research Facility

6-8 p.m. Reception at the Henry Ford Museum

America’s passion for innovation and invention is what inspired Henry Ford to found the Henry Ford Museum more than 80 years ago. The Driving Change opening reception at the Henry Ford will provide a foundation to inspire conference attendees as we examine how to cultivate the emergence of a future workforce of innovative thinkers and problem solvers.

Reception sponsored by:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Location: Ford Conference & Event Center

7:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. Opening Session

Introduction and Welcome: Kristin Dziczek, Director, Labor & Industry Group and Director, Program for Automotive Labor and Education, Center for Automotive Research

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


  • Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Administration, United States Department of Labor
  • Thomas Shoupe, President, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
  • Nancy Gioia, Director, Global Electrification, Ford Motor Company
  • David Foster, Executive Director. BlueGreen Alliance

10:30 a.m. 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


Noon Lunch

1:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

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 and 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


  • Jean Redfield, Vice President, Public Policy Programs, NextEnergy
  • Sue Griffith Smith, Corporate Executive for Manufacturing Technology, Workforce and Economic Development at Ivy Tech Community College
  • William Stark, Director, Center for Alternative Fuel, Macomb Community College

3:30 p.m. 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


  • Amy Cell, Senior Vice President, Talent Enhancement, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Tom Guise, Chief Executive Officer, Swedish Biogas International LLC
  • Mary Ann Pacelli, Senior Consultant, MAGNET


4:30 p.m. Adjourn



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

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