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Monday, 16 January 2012

Auto industry works to win back engineers

Crain's Detroit Business
Jan 15, 2012

Credit: Atlantic International University.

Thousands of new jobs for Southeast Michigan were announced last week during the North American International Auto Show as part of expansions planned by automakers and suppliers.

But recruiting top engineers and others to fill those jobs remains a challenge.

Santosh Anishetty, head of North American passive safety and advanced driver assistance systems for Troy-based Continental Automotive Systems Inc., said Continental is struggling to fill its more than 150 posted positions.

"I work with the business unit much more specific to electronics engineering, software elements, etc., and it's not very easy to find people," he said. "(Recently) I had three people come for interviews and all three of them said "no' after we offered them a job. That never used to be the case."

Anishetty said suppliers are losing out to local upstarts in the biomedical field and tech companies like Google.

"There are a lot of aspects (as to why they are not choosing auto suppliers)," he said. "A quality engineer with eight or 10 years of experience is a king, or queen, because they are often the most experienced at the place."


The more than 300,000 jobs eliminated during the industry downturn caused talent to look elsewhere, said Neil De Koker, president and CEO of Troy-based Original Equipment Suppliers Association.
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