(April 20, 2016)—DETROIT, Mich.— With approximately 564,500 workers in transportation-related occupations in Michigan, which comprise about 13 percent of the state’s total workforce, one-fifth are over the age of 55 and will need to be replaced by new talent within the next ten years. This is according to a Transportation Safety and Workforce Report, which reviews 2015 data and was developed in a partnership with the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN), Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS Center) at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), and the Michigan Academy for Green Mobility Alliance (MAGMA), a WIN partner. The report explores available workforce and anticipated demands driven by new technologies in mobility and automobile manufacturing.

WIN identified occupations related to the ATLAS Center’s transportation safety research and education priorities, which also align with MAGMA’s initiatives to advance new technology in mobility and automobile manufacturing. These occupations include workers in engineering and design, operations and planning. For all transportation safety-related occupations, more career information and planning are needed early on in student education so potential career pathways are clear. By informing students of these pathways and encouraging students to learn about in-demand jobs, the right skills can be provided to the future workforce in transportation safety.

“It is critical to consider the skill requirements associated with emerging technologies and practices in transportation to ensure that we have the right people in place for successful adoption and utilization of those technologies,” said Lisa J. Molnar, Associate Director and Associate Research Scientist, UMTRI. “By researching the existing workforce in transportation safety, we can shape and integrate new training opportunities that ensure available talent.”

“More programs and education are required to prepare new workers entering transportation-safety related occupations,” said Lisa Katz, executive director, WIN. “As the need for new workers increases in the upcoming years, it is important to grow individuals with the specialized skills and training needed to fill these positions.”

The top two most in-demand transportation safety-related occupations in Michigan are heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and software developers. These occupations reflect both the traditional and changing nature of the industry. In addition, the gap between worker supply and demand is greatest for these two occupations, compared to all others examined. Because of the low degree and credential completion, the report calls for more programs and innovative ways to train workers in these areas.

“To ensure that the workforce is prepared, community stakeholders including employers, educational institutes, and workforce development entities must collaborate to develop and provide opportunities for workers to obtain these skills,” explained Katz.

The full report can be viewed at: http://www.win-semich.org/atlas-report/. For more research and data from WIN, or a custom analysis, please visit: www.win-semich.org.

For a PDF version of this release, please click here.

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The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between ten community colleges and six Michigan Works! Agencies, in partnership with numerous other organizations, to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success. WIN covers a 16-county area, including Genesee, Hillsdale, Huron, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw, and Wayne. WIN was founded with the support of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan and publicly launched in November 2011.


The Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS Center) is a Tier 1 University Transportation Center led by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in collaboration with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). The Center is a nationally recognized leader in research, education/workforce development, and technology transfer dedicated to finding and promoting integrated solutions for transportation safety.  This research was supported by ATLAS Center. The ATLAS Center is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Transportation, University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program (DTRT13-G-UTC54).


In response to the rapid growth in the renewable energy sector, the Workforce Development Agency, State of Michigan collaborated with automotive manufacturing employers and educational institutions to establish the Michigan Academy for Green Mobility Alliance (MAGMA).

Automotive manufacturers and their suppliers are in need of engineering and technical talent to support hybrid and electric vehicle design and manufacturing. The existing workforce within automotive manufacturers and their suppliers also require updated skills to effectively operate within the emerging electrified vehicle environment. The purpose of MAGMA is to ensure the automotive industry has the trained workers they need to grow and prosper in the emerging green economy. In response to industry’s requirements, education and training institutions support MAGMA by developing learning opportunities that are targeted, innovative, flexible, and have a strong focus on hands-on practical experience.

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