Vehicle Lightweighting Job Demand Surges

DETROIT — A new report from a vehicle “lightweighting” industry group and a local workforce group showed that demand for lightweighting-related occupations jumped more than 50 percent from the end of 2014 to midyear 2015.

The report from LIFT (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow) and WIN (Workforce Intelligence Network) covered a five-state region that includes Michigan.

“The positive, upward trend of lightweighting-related job postings means we need to strengthen and accelerate our collaborative efforts to build a skilled workforce, ready to use new technologies, materials and processes” said Emily Stover DeRocco, education and workforce director of LIFT. “Advanced knowledge and skills remain key for our region’s success as an innovation and manufacturing hub.”

According to the new market report, Michigan lightweighting-related job postings increased from 20,038 in May and June to 22,721 in July-August 2015, and were up by more than 50 percent from the beginning of 2015. Of the 22,721 job postings by Michigan employers in July/August 2015, 37 percent advertised a salary of more than $50,000, and nearly 60 percent required a bachelor’s degree.

Maintenance and repair workers have topped the list of most in-demand jobs in Michigan for the last six months. Additionally, demand for mechanical, electrical and industrial engineers remained strong in Michigan, with a combined total of more than 1,000 job postings in July/August 2015.

“As the increase of lightweighting-related job ads in Michigan confirms that employer demand is growing, it is important that we prepare our workforce via proper training and education to fill these rewarding positions,” said Joe Petrosky, dean of engineering and advanced technology at Macomb Community College and a member of the Michigan LIFT State Team.

The most in-demand lightweighting-related occupations in Michigan included:

· Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (6,150 postings)
· Assembly and Operation (3,929 postings)
· Skilled Materials Workers (3,341 postings)
· Logistics Workers (2,765 postings)
· Process Engineering and Testing (1,511 postings)

The full Michigan report can be viewed at:

LIFT is a public-private partnership that will develop and deploy advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies and programs to prepare the workforce. The LIFT region includes Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

LIFT is operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute and was selected through a competitive process led by the U.S. Department of Defense under the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation solicitation issued by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. LIFT is one of the founding institutes in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a federal initiative to create regional hubs to accelerate the development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.

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