Michigan Engineering News

Construction underway at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan

U-M joins state of Michigan in drive to recruit talent for EV and mobility jobs

The Michigander EV Scholars Program will award up to $10,000 to tech students who accept qualifying jobs in Michigan with participating employers.

The University of Michigan is a partner in a major state-sponsored initiative to promote careers and attract talent to the state of Michigan’s burgeoning electric vehicle and transportation mobility sector.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist announced the Michigander EV Scholars program today during a virtual press conference. The program is part of a $34 million talent attraction and retention strategy that the Michigan Economic Development Corp. describes as the nation’s largest-ever campaign of its kind. The goal is to help Michigan businesses struggling to fill in-demand, high-growth jobs today, while also increasing the state’s workforce long term.

Construction underway at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan
Construction underway at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan on Friday, January 21, 2022. The new  Michigander EV Scholars Program will help expand the workforce to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.Photo: Brenda Ahearn/University of Michigan, College of Engineering

“In the state of Michigan, we face high stakes and tremendous opportunity in the EV transition,” said Eric Michielssen, associate dean for research at U-M’s College of Engineering and the Louise Ganiard Johnson Professor of Engineering in electrical engineering and computer science. “In order to maintain our longstanding leadership in automotive, the kind of deep collaboration that the EV Scholars program represents is critical.”

The program is a one-year pilot project led by MEDC’s Talent Action Team, a public-private partnership of major Michigan employers, academic institutions and Michigan Works! agencies across the state. In addition to U-M, universities involved in the scholars program include Michigan State University and Michigan Technological University.

Scholarships of up to $10,000 will be awarded to as many as 350 tech students at the three participating universities if they accept a position with one of the approved companies, and agree to stay on the job for 12 months in Michigan. The new hires would help fill annual demand for 500-600 electrical engineers and software developers among the participating employers. These companies include Bosch, DENSO, Ford Motor Co., LG Energy Solutions, Mahle, Our Next Energy, Shape Corp. and ZF. 

“We’re ready to build on our proud legacy and automotive heritage here in Michigan to usher in a greener, more sustainable and electrified future in 2023 and beyond,” Gilchrist said in a news release. “The Michigander EV Scholars program and our historic talent attraction campaign will help get us there and ensure our state continues to keep our foot on the accelerator driving the future of mobility and electrification.”

The Michigander EV Scholars campaign is expected to build a network of university students interested in launching careers in EVs and transportation mobility.

“We’re thrilled to partner with MEDC, industry and other universities on this effort,” U-M’s Michielssen said. “Workforce is a key pillar of the Michigan Electric Vehicle Center at U-M, which the state is supporting with a $130 million investment.”

Mcity, the U-M-led public-private transportation mobility research partnership, is managing the scholars program for the university. U-M, MSU and Michigan Tech are already recruiting students to it through a variety of virtual and in-person events to be held throughout 2023.

Information about U-M’s program, upcoming networking events and how to apply can be found on Mcity’s Michigander EV Scholars page. 

Scholarships will be distributed over the Spring, Summer and Fall 2023 semesters.
Visit the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s website to learn more about the scholars program and the state’s broader EV and mobility recruitment effort.

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Kate McAlpine

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