More and more electric vehicles are making their presence known, from new models appearing on the roads to additional places to charge them. Our area has been home to motor vehicle manufacturing for as long as cars have been on the road, but change can be difficult for those who have spent their careers working in traditional automotive manufacturing.
Help is available, says Justin Al-Igoe, Executive Director of Michigan Works! Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board. Michigan Works! is the first statewide, unified workforce development system in the country. As the automotive industry moves toward electric vehicles, says Justin, making the switch from traditional to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing will depend on the job a person currently holds. “For example,” continues Justin, “engineers may require more in-depth, technical training while others may just need hands-on, on-the-job training for this change.”
Such training may take the form of new certifications, such as those that have recently or are currently being developed in fields such as battery technician. Justin expects such certifications and training will become more common as the switch to EV continues. Sometimes employers will pay for apprenticeships, and certifications can be as short as a semester course in some situations.
Of course, the move toward EV is not limited to job opportunities in automotive manufacturing, sales, and service. In addition to the types of jobs for machinists, customer service representatives, and technicians that will be needed, wider adoption of EV will necessitate growth in some surprising fields. “Additional career growth in areas like electricians, engineers, and even urban planners is expected. Construction is also expected to grow as the EV infrastructure, such as public charging stations for example, develops,” notes Justin. Women, as well as men, can find many career opportunities with the changes that electric vehicles are bringing to our area.
For those interested in preparing for a career in EV, Justin says that Michigan Works! can help. “Michigan Works! is partnering with the State of Michigan and the Workforce Intelligence Network to acquire training funds to help with the transition. We are training our Career Planners on this emerging field so they can provide guidance on the careers, projections, and training opportunities in this area.”
Michigan Works! Career Planners can be a great resource for career-changers and job-seekers in EV-related fields. When getting started, Justin suggests coming to speak with a Career Planner, or start with your own research into the field. “Our staff can provide further guidance and information, as well as point to employers in this field. Changing career fields will take time, energy, and work so people interested in preparing for the EV field should be ready for this,” adds Justin.
Whether you are eager to join the EV field, or any field, Justin stresses that Michigan Works! is a great place to start searching for a career you will love, and not just a job. Reach out at macomb-stclairworks.org to get started.
Additional career growth in areas like electricians, engineers, and even urban planners is expected. Construction is also expected to grow as the EV infrastructure, such as public charging stations for example, develops.