According to an updated Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) Skills Gap report, understanding the complexity of the talent supply for CAV development and other upcoming technologies will aid continued economic growth in the region. New occupations will be created to sell, maintain, service and grow these technologies and their integration into teaching and service occupations. Tracking emerging technologies and their impact on the workforce is key to preparing secondary, post-secondary, and other educational markets for changing workforce demands from employers.

With grant funding from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the report ­compiled by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) details the emerging technologies talent system in southeast Michigan by analyzing job postings for a broad set of occupations involved in the design, manufacture, and infrastructure development necessary to catalyze the CAV product cycle. This report builds upon and updates the original CAV Skills Gap Analysis published by WIN in 2017 which was among the first of its kind in the public space to measure the impact of CAV on the workforce.

In southeast Michigan, connected and automated vehicle employment has been gradually increasing since 2009 and is expected to continue growing through 2028. In 2019, employment for the 76 CAV-related occupations analyzed totaled 504,389 workers, or 18.8 percent of all workers. For all workers in these occupations, employment is expected to continue trending upward by 3.4 percent through 2028, indicating sustained demand for workers over the next ten years.

Necessary occupations for CAV development include IT design and cybersecurity workers helping vehicles to communicate with each other and with surrounding infrastructure and to keep travel data secure; design and testing engineers and manufacturing workers; quality control specialists ensuring vehicle safety; and civil engineers and planners creating the intelligent transportation systems needed to make CAV effective and efficient on roadways.

“Southeast Michigan is in a unique position to advance the future of automated vehicles due to the strong historic presence of auto manufacturing and high concentration of research and development centers in the region,” said WIN Executive Director Michele Economou Ureste. “Connections between employers and the talent system, including community colleges, workforce boards, universities and four-year colleges must be strengthened to meet demand and continue transforming the CAV space. E mployers must both attract tech talent and create training pathways for traditional production workers.”

While many advances have occurred  since the 2017 CAV Skills Gap Recommendations, this updated CAV workforce report’s focus on talent pipelines in southeast Michigan allows WIN to provide the following recommendations for continuing the cultivation of a robust, innovative skill pool in the region:

  • Expansion of middle skill positions has the potential to meet talent demand and strengthen the region’s overall economy. At this time, many occupations in technology roles have high degree requirements for positions that could be filled with an individual who had completed short-term training or an apprenticeship in the right skills.
  • Educators, employers, and workforce boards must collaborate in creating robust training pathways to fill both short- and long-term skill needs. In particular, upskilling existing production workers is still a major opportunity.
  • To meet demand and continue transforming the connected vehicle space, employers must focus efforts on attracting technology talent to southeast Michigan.


Economou Ureste added, “While a greater amount of CAV-specific collaboration is taking hold both in the region and the nation, auto manufacturers, transportation planners, and policymakers are still limited in working to enable a smooth transition, and a skilled workforce at every stage of CAV.”

The full report can be viewed at:

For more research and data from WIN, or a custom analysis, please visit:

For a PDF version of the executive summary, download here.

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