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) in 2009.
Automotive manufacturers and their suppliers were in need of engineering and technical talent to support hybrid and electric vehicle design and manufacturing. A 2012 survey of manufacturers by the Workforce Intelligence Network of Southeast Michigan indicated 73% of respondents were hiring engineers and 37% were hiring technicians. At that time, there were approximately 1,400 projected openings for mechanical, electrical, and electronics engineers and technicians annually. The existing workforce within automotive manufacturers and their suppliers required updated skills to effectively operate within the emerging electrified vehicle environment.
MAGMA managed over $4.3 million to support training in advanced energy storage, hybrid electric battery engineering, and vehicle electrification. MAGMA-endorsed or supported courses trained over 800 individuals from 2009-2012.
Michigan’s automotive industry is now quickly developing technologies around connected and autonomous vehicles, cyber security, embedded software systems and other emerging technologies. In response to the rapid growth in these areas, and the need for new and incumbent worker training, MAGMA updated its name to the Michigan Alliance for Greater Mobility Advancement to better reflect its role in the ecosystem. In 2016 and 2017, MAGMA surveyed automotive industry OEMs, Tier 1, and Tier 2 suppliers to determine their top skill and training needs. Driven by the needs of employers, MAGMA is administered by a Governing Board made up of industry, educators, the workforce development system, and state government. MAGMA industry Board members include General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan, Toyota, Robert Bosch, BorgWarner, MAHLE, and GKN Driveline.
The purpose of MAGMA is to ensure the automotive industry has the trained workers they need to grow and prosper in the emerging economy. The skill development and training provided through MAGMA is in direct response to specific knowledge and skill demands of employers in the automotive manufacturing industry.
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.