STEM career advocacy integrated into Technology in Motion: Detroit exhibition
Every industry is becoming increasingly reliant on STEM-related jobs, which more often than not outnumber the amount of applicants available for them — especially in Michigan.
“We already have about 15,000 connected tech-related jobs in the state going unfilled,” said Linda Daichendt, executive director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM). “If we don’t find a way to solve this problem by getting our students, and those seeking second or alternative careers, interested in filling these jobs, then the jobs will go elsewhere, companies will leave, and Michigan and its economy will be left behind.”
Most importantly, STEM support doesn’t just resolve an issue, but creates opportunities. Research conducted by Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and MTAM indicates that every connected technology-related job created in Michigan also creates 6.54 additional jobs in the state, making it the highest job creation factor in the state. Michigan currently has multiple growing STEM industries, including mobility/connected transportation, connected health, smart manufacturing, smart cities, defense and cybersecurity.
The inaugural Technology in Motion (TIM) mobility exhibition seeks to be part of these efforts by partnering with the Michigan STEM Partnership and MTAM to produce the STEM Careers Showcase. This program will be held from 1-7 p.m. on Sept. 7 in the TIM Detroit exhibition hall and will cater to students, parents and educators. The showcase will focus on increasing awareness about STEM careers, with a goal of increasing student STEM education participation and student pursuit of STEM careers. The event will also provide information to parents and educators about the opportunities available to students due to substantial business and industry demand for STEM talent; research shows that parents are extremely influential on students’ education and career choices, and teachers need to understand what employer needs are to prepare students for jobs.
One of the main features of the showcase will be a series of expert talks and panel discussions on topics such as how to find a STEM job in today’s marketplace; solving the STEM talent problem through diversity; and the importance of STEM to Michigan’s economy. In addition, the entire TIM Detroit exhibition will be open to participants, allowing them to explore booths from prominent STEM-focused companies like General Motors, Lear Corporation and Cisco. There will also be a designated “STEM Village” on the floor that will include interactive exhibits and STEM career information hosted by various organizations.
Support for STEM development at events like TIM Detroit is crucial. “Our educational institutions are suffering a lack of resources and teachers able to provide this training to today’s students, which puts our students at a disadvantage,” said Gary Farina, executive director of the Michigan STEM Partnership. “Therefore, we encourage, and will support, efforts designed to expose students to opportunities to explore these careers and to interact with industry professionals who can share their expertise and experiences.”
To find out more about the STEM Careers Showcase, visit the STEM page on the TIM Detroit website. To buy a ticket for the event, you can purchase a $10 exhibition ticket for Thursday, Sept. 7, or the $25 three-day pass if you’d like to come on other days as well. For more information about getting involved, reach out to MTAM at (248) 470-3257 or email info@GoMobileMichigan.org.