Leading-edge technologies, including 3-D printing and automated products, have dramatically altered how businesses and workers shape the economy. The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) released a report on Tuesday, October 20 about the economic and workforce-related effects of today’s disruptive technologies and trends, known as “Eureka!” technologies, based on survey results from a sample of over 230 Michigan company leaders in various industries, including health care, IT, and manufacturing.

From new computer installation for staff, to creating new products that require patents, WIN’s report shows that 75 percent of surveyed businesses have implemented a new technology or pioneered a new way of doing business within the past year. With each new technological change or innovation, the workforce must adapt and respond to stay competitive in the new economy.

“More education and specialized technology training are increasingly important for incoming hires,” said Lisa Katz, executive director, WIN. “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.”

Nearly half of survey respondents believe that technology advances will have no impact on employment levels in the next five years. However, 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.

“Workers will not be replaced by technology, but technologies will require more interaction among workers to foster communications and group work skills. With new technology infusions, current workers will also need related upskilling to stay on par with technological advances,” said Katz.

Survey respondents noted the following barriers to implementing Eureka innovations in their companies:

  • Up-front costs
  • Infrastructure updates and changes
  • Knowing what technologies are trends and what are here to stay
  • Flexibility and the ability for the company leadership to adapt to new methods
  • Employees’ resistance to new technologies

Respondents also noted most critical steps to prepare for technological change or innovation in the future economy to be:

  • Adding computer skills to the middle and high school core curricula
  • Coursework in high school and college on problem solving, critical thinking, and analysis
  • Professional development for the current workers focusing on technology
  • Increased opportunities for apprenticeships
  • Digital literacy for all workers

View the full WIN Eureka! Report Report by clicking here! 

Other Helpful Resources:

Eureka! in the News: Media Surrounding Eureka! Report:

WIN partners:

Henry Ford College
Macomb Community College
Monroe County Community College
Mott Community College
Oakland Community College
Schoolcraft College
St. Clair County Community College
Washtenaw Community College
Wayne County Community College District

Michigan Works! Agencies:
Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.
GST Michigan Works! Agency
Southeast Michigan Works! Consortium
Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!
Oakland County Michigan Works!
Southeast Michigan Community Alliance

Share On