Conference Details Green Jobs in the Automotive Industry

With electric cars and other green technology entering the automotive industry, the question arises as to what work skills will be needed to build and maintain these vehicles. To help answer that question, The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is hosting “Driving Change: The Greening of the Automotive Workforce,” May 3-4 at the Ford Conference & Event Center in Dearborn, Michigan.

The event kicks off on May 3 with opportunities to visit plants and research facilities that showcase the automotive industry’s green advances. An opening reception, sponsored in part by Kronos Manufacturing, is also planned that day at the Henry Ford Museum.

Sessions on May 4 will highlight the future employment and skill needs of the automotive industry, as well as green career options for displaced automotive workers. The event will focus on results of an 18-month study on the transformation of the automotive workforce that was funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, and led by the state Labor Market Information Offices in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. 

“The turnaround in the industry is unveiling key workforce issues – including current and future skill needs,” said Kristin Dziczek, conference organizer, and director of CAR’s Labor and Industry group. “This event brings together industry, labor, education, and workforce development experts to examine opportunities for workers in the green economy.”

Industry speakers include:

  • Tom Shoupe, Senior Vice President at Honda of America Manufacturing and a member of the Honda of America Operations Committee, the senior management team with responsibility for planning and establishing strategies;
  • Nancy Gioia, Ford Motor Company’s Director of Global Electrification, where she directs strategy and planning for the next generation of Ford’s global electric vehicle portfolio;
  • Kevin Pavlov, Executive Vice President of Magna E-Car Systems, a joint venture between Magna International and the Stronach Trust, as well as a member of the E-Car Systems executive board;
  • Dr. Christopher Borroni-Bird, Director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts, General Motors;
  • Kelley Losey, Director, Quest Sustainable Solutions, Cascade Engineering; and
  • Dr. Steven Delmoro, Director, Sales, Engineering, & Materials, Gerstenslager Company-A Worthington Industries Company

In addition, a number of education and workforce experts will provide insight into the implications of the changes in the industry on worker skills, curriculum development and dislocated worker programs, including:

  • Dr. Leah Jamieson, Dean, College of Engineering, Purdue University;
  • Dr. James Jacobs, President, Macomb Community College and Member, Auto Communities Network Steering Committee;
  • Dr. Timothy Slaper, Director of Economic Analysis, Indiana Business Research Center, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University;
  • Dr. Susan Helper, AT&T Professor of Economics, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University;
  • Dr. Rebecca Nickoli, Vice President, Workforce and Economic Development, Ivy Tech Community College;
  • Brett Smith, Co-Director, Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology Group and Assistant Research Director, Center for Automotive Research; and
  • Kristin Dziczek, Director, Labor and Industry Group and Assistant Research Director, Center for Automotive Research

The registration fee of $200 covers the cost of the tours, reception and sessions. For more information on the research project and to register, visit

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