DETROIT – Seventy five percent of Southeast Michigan businesses surveyed have implemented so-called Eureka! Technologies – from new computer installations, to creating new patentable products – within the past year.
With each new technological change or innovation, the workforce has been forced to adapt and respond to stay competitive in the new economy, contends a survey of more than 230 Michigan companies by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan.
“More education and specialized technology training are increasingly important for incoming hires,” said Lisa Katz, executive director, WIN. “As Eureka innovations continue to enter the market, it is imperative that companies, educators, and students work closely together and continue to create a prepared and skilled workforce that will keep Michigan’s economy forward moving.”
Nearly half of survey respondents believe that technology advances will have no impact on employment levels in the next five years. However, the majority of respondents do believe that worker productivity will increase due to the fast pace of technological change and the ever-more-connected world, which will enable workers to do more in less time.
“Workers will not be replaced by technology, but technologies will require more interaction among workers to foster communications and group work skills. With new technology infusions, current workers will also need related upskilling to stay on par with technological advances,” said Katz.
Survey respondents noted the following barriers to implementing Eureka innovations in their companies:
Infrastructure updates and changes
Knowing what technologies are trends and what are here to stay
Flexibility and the ability for the company leadership to adapt to new methods
Employees’ resistance to new technologies
Respondents also noted most critical steps to prepare for technological change or innovation in the future economy to be:
Adding computer skills to the middle and high school core curricula
Coursework in high school and college on problem solving, critical thinking, and analysis
Professional development for the current workers focusing on technology
Increased opportunities for apprenticeships
Digital literacy for all workers
The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan is a collaborative effort between nine community colleges and seven Michigan Works! Agencies, in partnership with numerous other organizations, to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success. WIN covers a 9-county area, including Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. WIN was founded with the support of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan and publicly launched in November 2011.
To view the full WIN Eureka Report, please visit: http://www.win-semich.org/data-research/win-research/
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