County survey reveals job profile for connected mobility employment

Employers in the connected mobility industry can now put a name to the classification of employee they’ve been searching for but couldn’t find – a connected systems engineer.

Now the more challenging job lies ahead: training connected systems engineers to fill the hybrid position – that of an electrical engineer, mechanical engineer and software developer all wrapped into one – critical to the development of vehicles that communicate with one another.

County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said he was hopeful that K-12, college and university educators will use the information released today in the Skills Needs Assessment Project (SNAP) on Connected Mobility to shape existing or create new programming to train future employees of the rapidly changing industry.

“We are hoping they are energized by this report,” Patterson said. “As we build Oakland County and this region into a connected mobility center, we need to equip our talent with the necessary tools to thrive and excel in the field. This is our opportunity to take this information and really shine.”

The SNAP report – the first of its kind in the nation – comprehensively examines the specific employment needs of the rapidly expanding connected mobility industry. It surveyed 50 companies from the region, asking them to identify employment gaps and suggesting the knowledge, skills and abilities required for those people seeking employment.

The new position identified is one of nine customized job profiles listed in the report, which was commissioned by Oakland County and funded by the Michigan Talent Investment Agency. It was released to about 250 educators, industry experts, and government officials and media representatives during an event at the Michigan State University Education Management Center in Troy.

EdEn Inc., the Rochester-based firm that conducted the research and wrote the report, gave detailed descriptions of each of the nine jobs employers found most difficult to fill. Each included the most important traditional and specialty knowledge, skills and abilities required for each job; the estimated number of job openings for that particular job and an estimate hourly wage. The wage for the connected system engineer was estimated at $43 an hour but would likely be higher because of the scarcity of workers who currently occupy that space.

Other job profiles included electrical engineer, computer systems engineer, software applications developer and software systems developer.

“We’re hoping our young people learn more about the careers that are available to them and explore these careers,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, manager of Oakland County, Michigan Works! “We hope K-12 and post-secondary schools continue tailoring their curriculum to the connected mobility industry as we brand Oakland County as the place for connected mobility talent and business.”

The Connected Mobility report is the fourth in the SNAP series. The initial report was prepared in 2009 and focused on Emerging Sectors® companies that are helping diversify the county’s economy by replacing lost manufacturing jobs. The second report, completed in 2013, focused on the needs of advanced manufacturing and the 2014 report examined the employment needs of health systems in the region.

Several companies involved in connected car and mobility research had displays at today’s event, including DENSO International America, Elektrobit, GoPoint Technology, P3 North America, Teledyne LeCroy and Uber ATG.

The SNAP report can be viewed online at—click on Reports and Publications.