WIN Initiatives

Eureka! Innovation & Disruption in the Economy and How the Workforce Can Prepare

Project Type
Internal WIN project in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch
Project Date
Main Contact
Melissa Sheldon

Contact Melissa

During 2013, the U.S. economy was rapidly moving out of the Great Recession and into a new reality of innovation and economic disruption. Technology was moving almost too quickly for workers to keep up and companies were hurting for talent that could keep their businesses growing. Researchers at WIN wanted to learn how companies project what the future workforce will need to know and benchmark employer opinions on the next latest and greatest technologies. To fulfil this need, WIN created an extensive employer survey for Michigan companies to help shed light on what leaders predict will be the economic and workforce-related effects of disruptive technologies and other trends. WIN calls these technologies Eureka! Technology – innovations that help create a new market and value chain that will eventually go on to fundamentally alter an existing market and value chain, displacing an earlier technology, process, or practice.

WIN’s ongoing goals include understanding employer needs now and in the future so that talent partners across the region in southeast Michigan can prepare works with the right skills to be hired. The Eureka project contributes to this goal.

Highlight Findings Include:
Project findings include:
  1. More education and specialized technology training are increasingly important for incoming hires
  2. As Eureka innovations continue to enter the market, it is imperative that companies, educators, and students work closely together and continue to create a prepared and skilled workforce that will keep Michigan’s economy forward moving
  3. Nearly half of survey respondents believe that technology advances will have no impact on employment levels in the next five years
  4. The majority of respondents do believe that worker productivity will increase due to the fast pace of technological change and the ever-more-connected world, which will enable workers to do more in less time
  5. Workers will not be replaced by technology, but technologies will require more interaction among workers to foster communications and group work skills