MAGMA Governing Board members meet with Senator Gary Peters

MAGMA Governing Board members meet with Senator Gary Peters to discuss talent priorities and challenges in the mobility sector

MAGMA Governing Board industry members met with U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) on Monday for a roundtable discussion, hosted by board member Robert Bosch at their technical center in Plymouth. Three Tier 1 suppliers, four OEMs, and the State of Michigan’s Talent Investment Agency participated in the discussion.

The meeting centered on MAGMA’s priorities of talent development in advanced mobility, with members discussing the myriad talent challenges they face, ranging from the availability of coursework to upskill existing workers, needing more flexible credentialing processes to adapt to changing technologies, appealing to K-12 students and helping them see career possibilities in the automobility sector, and immigration policies regarding visas, which employers rely on to bring talent to their companies.

Companies also shared success stories with the Senator and how MAGMA has helped facilitate those successes. For example, MAGMA Governing Board Co-Chairs GKN Driveline and BorgWarner both sent employees to a MAGMA systems engineering short course and took advantage of the State’s Going Pro! Talent Fund that reimburses such industry-led collaborative training. Both employers shared a need for systems engineering training, but on their own, did not have enough trainees to meet a course minimum. MAGMA’s work vetting coursework, facilitating the collaborative application and providing a neutral platform through which marketplace competitors can share common talent challenges and collaborate on training, all helped GKN Driveline and BorgWarner train employees and receive reimbursements for training costs.

Senator Peters shared his perspectives as well, including his work on legislation to establish a National Institute of Manufacturing, which would streamline all 58 federal manufacturing programs spread across 11 different agencies. The National Institute of Manufacturing would be based on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) model and serve as a hub for all federal manufacturing programs with a chief manufacturing officer to unify these programs and elevate manufacturing, especially skills and training, as a national priority. Senator Peters pointed out other countries known for manufacturing, like Germany and South Korea, have comprehensive national manufacturing policies, and a similar national strategy around manufacturing is needed to keep the U.S. competitive in a global economy. MAGMA members indicated they would benefit from a national framework around manufacturing policy and promoting manufacturing as a national priority.

MAMGA looks forward to future conversations with Senator Peters, including those focused on post-secondary education and training to develop the talent needed for advanced mobility to succeed.

MAGMA will continue to highlight talent and training priorities, especially regarding the future of the workforce, at its next advisory council meeting on Wednesday, October 2 at Toyota Motor North America R & D’s Saline Campus. Click here now to register. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
  • Hilary Cain, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy for Toyota Motor North America
  • Dennis Dio Parker, Consultant for Regional Talent Development, Toyota Motor North America.

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