WIN Partnering with the Society of Automotive Engineers in February

SAE InternationalThe Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) is a promotional sponsor of the Society of Automotive Engineers event next month at Macomb Community College in Warren.  WIN also will present at the event, Strategic Human Resources Management and the Evolution of the Technical Automotive Workforce, will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on February 12. Attendees will receive informative and thought-provoking presentations addressing recruiting and talent development issues in the automotive industry. This event includes a keynote welcome by Dave Cole, chairman, AutoHarvest. Speakers from Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Navistar, Kettering University and the Workforce Intelligence Network will also share their perspectives. WIN is helping to market the event and will be giving a short presentation on the Automotive Engineer Workforce – Current State and Future Outlook.
For more information, click here.

A workforce development event for Human Resources Managers, Technical Managers, Educators, and Economic Development Leaders

SAE is presenting this in Cooperation with

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Ctr for Adv AutoNSF        Win        AutoHarvest        SME



Hosted by


The environment is changing for technical workforce development in the automotive industry. Vehicle electrification along with innovative technologies for navigation, communication, entertainment, and advanced safety systems have become increasingly vital components of modern vehicle engineering. Human resources professionals and hiring managers within the automotive industry are challenged to identify , recruit and develop the next generation of the automotive engineering and technical professional workforce. These individuals will require special skills that align with the needs of this continuously evolving, technology-driven automotive industry. This event is designed to facilitate information sharing and dialogue among automotive HR professionals and technical managers, educators, government, and economic development agencies.

This program is being held in the John Lewis Student Community Center, Building K, Room 301 at Macomb Community College, South Campus. For more information, please click on the Hotel & Travel Information link above.

Learning Objectives
By attending this course, you will be able to:

  • Facilitate a discussion among HR executives, academic leaders, and industry experts regarding the future of the automotive workforce
  • Create an environment where HR experts can develop effective strategies for engaging and retaining talented engineers
  • Provide a forum where HR professionals can explore the automotive industry’s unique workforce development and talent needs
  • Gain an understanding of the unique needs and talent requirements of today’s evolving automotive workforce. To gain an understanding of how corporate culture, employee engagement, and in-house training activities impact the effectiveness of automotive industry professionals/engineers
  • Establish long-term, strategy-based collaboration among HR professionals in the automotive sector with the overall goal of creating sustainable workforce development solutions

Who Should Attend
This program is intended for human resources directors or professionals and managers working in automotive companies who are involved in recruiting, onboarding, and talent development of engineers and other technical workers, particularly for more recent high-demand skill sets. Higher education faculty and staff as well as government and economic development agency personnel who are concerned with workforce pipeline and development issues will also find this program valuable.

Topical Outline

Program Agenda

7:30 Registration and Check-in

8:30 Opening Remarks, Kevin Perry, SAE; Dave Cole, AutoHarvest

9:00 What are the strengths and weaknesses of the automotive workforce as it stands today?

What skills do they have and what competencies do they possess? How can industry and academia join together to ensure that the students leave school with the skills that they need to succeed in the industry? Assessment of the American workforce-community compared to workforce-communities overseas.

Tiffani Orange, US Recruiting Strategy & Programs, Ford Motor Company

9:45 BREAK

10:15 Which positions are most difficult to recruit for?

Why is it so difficult to find qualified individuals who possess the necessary skills for a particular position in the automotive industry? Which positions have the highest demand for skilled workers? How many job openings are there in comparison with the number of qualified candidates? Where are the “gaps” in talent within the automotive industry?

Sean Vanderelzen, Director, Talent Acquisition and Early Career Development, General Motors

11:00 The ‘right kind of people’

Beyond specific qualifications and skills in their field of expertise, what kinds of qualities and characteristics do the ideal candidates have? What ideals/work ethic should educators be encouraging among their students? What role does corporate culture play in recruiting strategies? What kind of work environment is common within the automotive sector and how do employees respond to that?

Kimberly L Topping, Director, Industrial Group Human Resources, Chrysler Group LLC

11:45 LUNCH

Luncheon Presentation–Automotive Engineer Workforce – Current State and Future Outlook

What is the current state of the automotive engineer workforce: open positions, most sought after skill-sets, hiring patterns, and salaries? As for training and development, what topics and technologies are the most popular among current automotive engineers and what do we know about these learners? What future trends are we tracking and how should we be preparing?

Alan R. Lecz, Director, Employer Strategies, Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) and J. Kevin Perry, Global Manager, Professional Development, SAE International

1:15 How to save the experience and expertise from the retiring ‘baby-boomers’?

The untapped resource is the life experience of the individual professional. Or, on the other hand, why are automotive OEMs sometimes more inclined to hire a less experienced individual versus a highly experienced one? What are the advantages/disadvantages, typically, between hiring a Gen Y or Gen X job candidate? What are their working styles and how do they fit in with the ideal skill requirements of professionals of the automotive sector? What corporate training/professional development opportunities are offered in-house for employees in the automotive industry?

Donna Dorsey, Vice President, Human Resources , Business Operations, Navistar

2:00 Retaining the Young Engineer

Graduation rates are low for engineering students and automotive industry employers often find difficulty in retaining young engineers once they are hired (See New York Times Article: Why Students Leave The Engineering Track.) How can this issue be resolved?

David Benson, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Kettering University, Consultant for ENGAGE

2:45 BREAK

3:15 Panel Discussion Involving OEMs and Academia – Technology Skills for the Automotive Sector Workforce

With the increasing influence of simulation software, computers, etc. in engineering education, how much tech knowledge do the professors need to effectively teach via these tools? How should professors integrate technology into the curriculum? And what credentials do candidates need when entering the automotive industry workforce in engineering and product development and manufacturing technician roles? Also, from an industry perspective, what opportunities for training are available to new hires and longer term employees requiring additional information technology-based training?

Speakers – Awaiting Final Confirmation

Panel Moderator –Kristin Dziczek, Center for Automotive Research (CAR)

4:00 Question and Answer Session

4:30 Wrap Up, Closing Remarks

Recertification Credit Hour The HR Certification Institute has pre-approved this event for 6.75 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification.

The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

Instructor(s): David Benson, Kettering University, Engage; David Cole, Center for Automotive Research (CAR), Auto Harvest; Donna Dorsey, Navistar; Kristin Dziczek, Center for Automotive Research (CAR); Sean Vander Elzen, General Motors; Alan R. Lecz, Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN); Tiffani Orange, Ford Motor Company; J. Kevin Perry, SAE International; Kimberly Topping, Chrysler Group LLC

David Benson, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University in 2004 and, prior to his graduate career, Dr. Benson was a high school Physics and Astronomy teacher. Dr. Benson’s research focus is divided between flow control methods for high speed inlets and education research characterizing academic diversity in undergraduate student populations. His teaching efforts focus on classroom tools to improve student access to content and to remediate/ reinforce core skills and content. Recent papers have focused on thematic development of entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship concepts within core courses, the use of simulated consulting experiences to promote synthesis and reflective thinking in the classroom, and the development of rubrics and peer-to-peer education methods to promote metacognitive processing. Dr. Benson’s teaching focus is in the areas of Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics.

David E. Cole is the Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Chairman of Auto Harvest. He was formerly Director of the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation (OSAT) at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and an engineering professor at the University of Michigan. He has worked extensively on internal combustion engines, vehicle design, and overall automotive industry trends.

Dr. Cole’s recent research has focused on strategic issues related to the restructuring of the North American industry and trends in globalization, technology, market factors, and human resource requirements. He is chairman of Auto Harvest, a new organization being developed to facilitate the flow of intellectual property in and out of the auto industry. He was formerly a member of the Energy Engineering Board of the National Research Council, the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Pact Select Panel and the Michigan Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board. He is also director of six automotive related companies. Dr. Cole was formerly a member of the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission. He was named a co-chair of Detroit Renaissance’s “Road to Renaissance” Project in the fall of 2006. At the University of Michigan he is a member of the Energy Research Council, Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board and the Biological Station Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Denso Foundation Board and recently was appointed to the Business Development Committee of Ann Arbor Spark. Dr. Cole was formerly a director of the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and a member of the Board of Trustees of Hope College.

He is active in SAE, including serving two terms on the Board of Directors. In February 1986, he was named a fellow of SAE. He is also active in the Engineering Society of Detroit and was elected to fellow status in 1990. In 2000, he received the Engineering Society’s highest award, the Horace H. Rackham medal. He is also a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and was elected to fellow grade in 2009. In 1993, he received the National Automobile Dealers Association Foundation’s International Freedom of Mobility Award. In 1994, Design News selected Dr. Cole as one of eight engineering leaders, and he was also selected to receive Sweden’s Order of the Polar Star. He is currently a member of the editorial advisory board of Popular Mechanics.

In the fall of 1998, Dr. Cole was named as the Marketing Educator of the Year by the Society of Marketing Executives. Additionally, he received the 1998 Rene Dubos Environmental Award for his contributions to the industrial ecology of the automobile and in 1999, Chevalier of the National Order of Merit from France. In addition, he received the 2008 Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Cole also has been actively involved in the start-up of five different Ann Arbor-based companies. Dr. Cole’s technical and policy consulting experience includes a variety of assignments for industry, labor, and government and he has spoken to more than 1000 different groups on automotive issues.

Dr. Cole received his B.S.M.E. and Mathematics, M.S.M.E. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and an honorary doctorate from Cleary University.

Donna Grant Dorsey currently serves as Vice President, Human Resources – Business Operations for Navistar Inc’s. In this role, she leads the strategic HR direction of business operations while overseeing the team of HR generalists. She works closely with the business leaders to determine the best approaches to leadership and organization development, succession planning, talent development, staffing, total rewards and strategic HR issues. She previously held roles within Navistar with increasing levels of responsibility including the leadership of Navistar Integrated Product Development organization.

Prior to joining Navistar, Dorsey was manager, human resources at Sears, Roebuck & Company (now Sears Holding) where she was instrumental at leading the development of people strategies for corporate functions and serving as a leader for diversity initiatives across the enterprise.

She has held other positions of increasing responsibility in Human Resources including:

  • Sr. Human Resources Manager, Recruitment – Sears
  • Human Resources Generalist – American Hospital Association
  • Employment Representative – Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
  • HR Generalist – Chicago Park District

As a leader in both her community and profession, Donna is Vice President of the Board of Directors for the national non-profit organization Health Connect One, HR Advisory Board member for CareerPlace (formerly Barrington Career Center) and Chair of the HR Management Association of Chicago’s North/Northwest interest group. In addition, she is a member of the Society Human Resource Management, the Northwest Human Resources Council, the National Association of African American’s in HR, the American Society of Training and Development, the National Urban League, the American Bar Association and the Illinois Bar Association. She holds a Paralegal certificate and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Rutgers University and a Juris Doctorate from Chicago Kent College of Law with a certification in labor and employment law. While in law school, she was president of Black Law Students Association.

Donna lives in Gurnee, Illinois with husband, Lance and sons Jayson, Dale and Isaiah.

Kristin Dziczek is director of the Labor & Industry Group at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). Dziczek joined CAR in 2005, and has more than 20 years of experience as a researcher and policy analyst. She is widely quoted as a national expert on automotive labor issues, especially on the topic of labor union relations and contracts.

The Labor and Industry Group performs analysis of the automotive industry’s employment, productivity, wages, benefits, education and training, occupations, labor agreements, plant locations, and capacity utilization, as well as forecasting and modeling employment and market demand. The group’s research focuses on developing a better understanding of developments in human resource and education issues and policies, as well as tracking critical industry information and government data related to the existing automotive endowment, production, global competitiveness, trade, markets and automotive development in emerging economies.

Prior to joining CAR, Dziczek served as the associate director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, and has worked for the U.S. Congress, International Union UAW, and General Motors Corporation. She has published articles in the Monthly Labor Review, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, the Journal of Technology Transfer and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, among others. She earned her B.A. in economics, M.P.P. in public policy, and M.S. in industrial and operations engineering, all from the University of Michigan.

Sean R. Vander Elzen leads talent acquisition for General Motors. His responsibilities include employment branding, salaried hiring, student recruiting, university relations, contingent staffing and on-boarding/off-boarding as well as the design of early career development programs. Sean is also responsible, globally, for GM’s talent acquisition strategies, tools and direction.

Sean joined GM in 1997 and has worked in a variety of HR roles at Saturn Corporation, OnStar and GM. He has also supported multiple functional areas, including engineering, information technology, human resources, and finance. During his career, Sean has gained valuable global business experience, especially in his role as senior HR manager for GM China. Additionally, he has a background in organizational development.

A native of Waterford, MI, Vanderelzen holds a bachelor’s degree in Management and Human Relations from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Alan (Al) Lecz is Director of Employer Strategies in the newly-formed Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) for Southeast Michigan. He works with regional employers and workforce development professionals to satisfy workforce sector/cluster talent needs, both short-term and in feeding career talent pipelines. His vision of success for WIN and its partners is a potentially nationally recognized and diverse workforce talent development and supply system, capitalizing upon best practices of regional workforce development and educational placement processes. Key partners include the region’s community colleges and universities, workforce development agencies, economic developers and industry professional societies.

Al brings several years’ experience collaborating with the nine community colleges of Southeast Michigan in developing center-of-expertise regional educational programs. Prior to this, Al achieved over 36 years engineering and supervisory experience at Ford Motor Company, Powertrain Engineering, working in product design, development and manufacturing engineering. He was a lead university recruiter for the Ford College Graduate and Summer Internship programs. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt in Customer Driven Quality Processes.

Tiffani Orange is the US Recruiting Strategy and Programs Manager for Ford Motor Company, based in Dearborn, MI. She is responsible for developing the strategy for campus recruiting, along with providing oversight of the intern program. Among other roles, she is responsible for developing the corporate strategy to leverage early recruiting initiatives, including the company’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach efforts.

Tiffani began her career with Ford in 1995 in the Marketing, Sales & Service organization. She held a variety of customer service and management positions in the Select Dealer and Detroit Regions of Ford’s Customer Service Division, supporting Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealers in the Georgia, Tennessee, Northern Indiana and Southeast Michigan markets.

She served as the Diversity & Inclusion Manager for the Americas, and was responsible for developing and implementing the global strategy for diversity and inclusion throughout the Manufacturing, Marketing Sales & Service, and Product Development organizations. She also spent time working in Labor Relations at the Dearborn Truck Plant, home of the F-150, located in the Rouge Manufacturing Complex.

Tiffani is a member of the Ford African Ancestry Network (FAAN), previously serving as the Summer Intern Program chairperson and editor of the FAAN Mail newsletter. She also taught a Writing & Thinking course to Detroit-area high school students through the Campbell Academic Services Aces Program. Tiffani has completed three half-marathons and raised over $10,000 for the American Stroke Association. She is an avid reader and an active member of Triumph Church in Detroit, MI.

Tiffani earned Bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Mass Communications from St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC, and an MBA in Human Resources from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.

Dr. Kevin Perry is the Managing Director of SAE’s Professional Development unit where he leads a staff that plans and delivers seminars, in-house training, and a variety of multimedia/distance learning products for engineers who serve the automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicle industries. Before joining SAE, Kevin worked in the continuing higher education field for nearly 12 years at both Penn State University and Duquesne University where he functioned as a program developer, administrator, and marketing director. His educational credentials include a B.S. in education, M.Ed. in Counselor Education, and Ed.D. in Administrative and Policy Studies.

Kimberly L. Topping is Director of Engineering Human Resources at Chrysler Group LLC. In this role, she directly manages the Vehicle Engineering HR organization and is the HR Business Partner Lead for the Company’s other Industrial Groups. Kim is widely regarded as a passionate business leader with extensive experience heading human resources functions . Throughout her career, Kim has demonstrated ability to forge strategic alliances, optimize human capital and lead enterprise wide change.

Prior to her current position, Kim was selected to be a member of Chrysler Group’s Central Team responsible for leading the implementation of what at the time was a new manufacturing process known as World Class Manufacturing. As the Central Team lead for the “People Development” pillar, Kim’s responsibilities included directing and guiding thirty manufacturing facilities with the implementation of the theory and methodology of WCM’s People Development pillar and guiding the overall WCM implementation process at a major assembly facility.

Kim earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Walsh College in Troy, Michigan and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.


Additional Related Resources from SAE International:

Fees: $99.00 ; SAE Members: $99.00 – $99.00

To register, click Register button at the top of this page and submit the online form, or contact SAE Customer Service at 1-877-606-7323 (724/776-4970 outside the U.S. and Canada) or at

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