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This headline is terrifying to me!  It stems from a situation at Rochester Adams High School involving 31 students – all 16 or younger – where several teens took pictures of a female teen – also under 16 – engaged in a sexual act; the photos were taken without her knowledge. That was bad enough – then they shared the photos with all their friends, who also shared them.  You get the picture. See local news coverage HERE.

As the leader of a trade association focused on increasing the use of mobile technologies, you might think that my next statement is an unusual position to take, but I feel it is a necessary one. In my opinion, as an industry, we must help parents come up with some sort of an evaluation tool to help them determine if their teens are utilizing mobile devices responsibly – before they do something which can adversely impact the rest of their lives.

Until that tool has been achieved, to me the next best thing is to work with parent groups (such as PTA’s) to train them to effectively ensure that their teens and young adults are fully aware of the adverse results of inappropriate use of these devices, and then for parents to implement consequences for irresponsible use.

It is imperative that parents stress to their children that mobile devices are not to be used for:

  • bullying
  • sexting
  • texting while driving

or any other irresponsible use. Parents must become educated on the many ways technologies are being used by teens so they can effectively monitor their use and ensure that the devices are being used according the family morals and values that are being taught at home. They must also become aware of the legal implications of those irresponsible actions. I think it unlikely that any of those Rochester Adams High teens – or their parents – ever thought that there was a possibility that they could be looking at 10 years+ in prison because of an action they took with their mobile device.

We all know, teens as a whole don’t tend to think about the long-term implications of the actions they take. Therefore it is up to the adults in their lives to help them understand the potential results of irresponsible actions in an effort to prevent them.

The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) would like to assist in this effort and if any parent groups are interested in hosting a speaker on this topic, please contact us. We will work with you to make a speaker available to provide information that will help parents feel confident that they are doing everything they can to ensure their children are using mobile technologies responsibly. If this is of interest, please reach out to us at info@GoMobileMichigan.org or complete the speaker request form on our website.

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Linda Daichendt is the Executive Director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, a Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan, a Co-host/Co-producer of the international mobile marketing podcast series, ‘The Mobile Marketing Review’ and a Co-host of the ‘This Week in Small Business Technology’ podcast series on the Michigan Business Network. She is also a Board Member for the Michigan STEM Partnership.

Linda is an accomplished marketer and award-winning blogger, and one of Michigan’s leading proponents of the use of mobile technologies for businesses of all sizes – and in all verticals. She is a recognized business expert with 20+ years of corporate, small business and franchising experience.

A 14-year resident of her adopted home state of Michigan, Linda’s daily focus is on educating Michigan business, government and education stakeholders about the opportunities that mobile/wireless technologies provide to substantially grow Michigan’s economy, as well as insuring the ability for all Michigan residents to benefit from the jobs and businesses created by mobile/wireless technologies.

Jobs graphicIt seems like everywhere you go these days people are talking about connectivity; connected cars, smart homes, smart watches, etc. But what is not clear in all these conversations is what it all means – for our futures, for jobs, for our communities, etc.

First, it might be helpful to understand that many different terms are being used to talk about just one thing – mobile technologies. Some call it ‘connected’, some call it ‘mobility’, some call it ‘wireless’, some call it ‘smart’ – at the end of the day, it all comes back to the same thing, new ways of doing things driven by many different types of mobile technologies.

So understanding the terminology is one thing – but what does all this ‘connectivity’ translate into in terms of jobs? Well, let’s look at some of the projections:

  • Today there are 10 Billion+ connected objects; by 2020 there will be at least 50 Billion and some studies are predicting in excess of 70 Billion
  • As a result of connected technologies:
    • 220,000 new engineers will be required every year between 2014 and 2022
    • 600,000 more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. driven by automation and supply-chain data
    • 300,000 new data analysts to bring intelligent decisions to ‘Big Data’
    • $202 Billion in increased automotive revenue
    • $69 Billion in increased healthcare revenue
    • $445 Billion in increased consumer products revenue
    • $36 Billion in increased utilities revenue
    • Wireless broadband investment will create as many as 205,000 U.S. jobs by 2015
    • The worldwide smart grid market will grow from $20 Billion in 2010 to $100 billion by 2030
    • Wireless economic contributions have grown faster (16%) than the rest of the economy (3%)
    • Wireless jobs pay greater than 50% more than the average of other production workers
    • U.S. 4G wireless network investments will be up to $53 Billion by 2016; resulting in up to $151 Billion in GDP growth and up to 771,000 jobs being created.

So what’s the bottom line on all this? JOBS!  Lots of jobs, in every industry – tremendous numbers of currently available jobs going unfilled because we don’t have people qualified to fill them – and many future jobs you’ve never yet heard of because they don’t yet exist!

And if connected technologies are creating all these jobs, obviously its in our best interest to make certain we have the people to fill them. This is an endeavor that the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) is committed to, and we’re happy to see that other organizations in our community are just as committed to this effort.

We believe it to be very important to share the thoughts of other organizations involved in this work to help broaden awareness of what is being done, therefore below is a re-print of a recent article from Lisa Katz, Executive Director of the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) that first appeared in Crain’s Detroit. This article is re-published here with Lisa’s permission.

We encourage readers to pay close attention to her message and to take it to heart. The sooner you, your firm, your educational institution, your government, etc. become involved in adapting to our new future, the sooner we all will reap its rewards!

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In a connected world, shift happens

by Lisa Katz, Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN)

In just a five-year time period in Southeast Michigan, the number of online job postings for information technology jobs climbed 55 percent.  This was just after the recession and leading into an economic future that, while arguably more stable, certainly has not been a boom time in our region.

These new jobs did not come primarily from a core of NASDAQ-listed IT companies.   In this region, IT job demand comes from numerous industry clusters: automotive, banking and finance, health care, and logistics, just to name a few.  This is because information technology is being infused into nearly every facet of business and has become almost completely integrated into our daily lives.

For example, this year it was announced that Roush would be assembling self-driving Google cars in Allen Park.  WIN has participated in several meetings in the last year that explore how the region can capitalize on job growth. There are many new economic opportunities that come with the emerging (and possibly inevitable) connected automotive industry. Some experts forecast that by 2024, a driverless car will be optional for all new vehicle purchasers, and by 2044 they will be mandatory.

That sounds like a long way off, but we are approaching these benchmarks incrementally.  Recently, while driving to dinner in a new Ford Escape, my husband began to parallel park on the streets of downtown Rochester.  He hit a button and announced:  “Kids, mark the date: Oct. 21, 2014.  Today is the first day you rode in a car that parked itself.  Someday you’ll laugh while you tell your kids how people used to have to drive their own cars.”

Indeed, connectivity is changing the way we think about cars, but also life in general.  Connected toothbrushes can tell us how long we should brush and whether we have missed a spot.  Connected refrigerators can tell us whether it is time to buy new milk or whether the chicken is about to go bad.  And the technology exists that would allow a refrigerator to transmit an inventory of needs to a grocery store, which then could have the necessary items delivered direct-to-home.

Gregg Garrett, head of the local innovation-consulting firm, CGS Advisors, is fond of reminding me that, today, only about 1 percent of items that could be connected actually are.  Of course, this will rapidly change.

Technology has been shifting exponentially for years.  According to one of my favorite videos, Did You Know?, in the year 1900, human knowledge doubled every 100 years, in 1945 every 25 years, and in 2014 every 13 months.

By 2020, human knowledge will double every 12 hours, and by 2017, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain.

By 2049, a $1,000 computer will have more computational power than the entire human species.  Several other theorists, like Ray Kurzwell, who produced a great visual of this phenomenon, agree.

So what does all of this mean for Southeast Michigan?  First, while we cannot ignore issues like math and reading literacy, we certainly cannot ignore digital literacy. The very way we work will change as a result of technology, and if we do not embrace the idea that everyone can and should learn to be at least good users and navigators of technology (if not developers and creators), we do a disservice to our whole community.

Efforts like the planning that will shape Mayor Duggan’s Detroit Innovation District can and should explore how to maximize opportunities for companies and workers in a new economy increasingly dependent on technology.

Second, everyone must re-think attitudes and mindsets related to learning.  Once again, according to the video Did You Know?:

  • 65 percent of today’s grade schoolers will hold jobs that do not yet exist.  “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t exist using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet.”
  • 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years.  The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.    “For students starting a 4 year technical degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.”

Employers will need to make new investments in their workers. For example many companies spend more on coffee than on important training for their employees. Of course, workers will need to shift and commit to the idea of lifelong learning as being a given. Likewise, education and training institutions will need to shift the strategies and resources that help both of these groups adapt to ever-changing talent needs. We will have to teach our young people how to think creatively and flexibly, dealing with problems that have not even been defined.  Schools, like Oakland University, already are teaching engineers and business leaders what the connected world will mean for the future of engineering and work in general: more people should be having this conversation.

These ideas may sound like a tall order, but it is highly unlikely that the pace of technological change will slow. Without acknowledging that shift happens, Michigan’s lost decade could become a lost century for those who cannot or will not adapt.

This conversation is happening now, and we must begin the conversation, set a vision, and pursue a plan that will secure Southeast Michigan’s place in a more connected future.

by Linda Daichendt, Executive Director, Mobile Technology Assn of Michigan, Co-founder, Mobile Monday Michigan

Michigan map graphicRecently I read an article that discussed a skills program that had quickly been ramped up by a local community college to meet a training demand defined by a local non-profit group whose focus is on the fashion industry. The jobs in demand were for Industrial Sewing where Salary.com indicates the median annual salary is $24,674 and those on the high-end still make less than $35,000 per year. See the article HERE. I also recently read an article about a fashion incubator that launched in Lansing which also discussed the fashion training programs  that currently exist at:  Michigan State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, and Lansing Community College. Frankly, I was a bit dumbfounded by both articles – but let me explain why.

First, let me be clear, I certainly don’t want to be perceived as saying that there is no need for these training programs or the incubator, nothing could be further from the truth. Fashion talent can come from anywhere and I know we have firms here in Michigan that are gaining well-deserved recognition in this area. HOWEVER, I would be very interested to see the statistics on the number of jobs this industry can conceivably create in Michigan, the income those employed  in it will earn, and what the actual economic impact can possibly be on the state. Let’s face it, this isn’t New York or Paris! Unless I’m greatly mistaken, fashion is never going to be a major economic driver in this state and I am perplexed about why so much effort and resources are being put into an industry which will likely yield minimal impact in jobs creation, business start-ups or economic development.

On the other hand, if our education, government and economic development communities are REALLY interested in providing training for jobs that are already driving substantial job creation, new business start-ups and economic growth for the state, and where study after study indicates that job growth and business development opportunities will continue to grow – perhaps they should look at mobile/wireless technologies that are impacting literally EVERY industry in our state.

For years now MTAM and its members have been valiantly spreading the word throughout Michigan, nationally, and internationally about the work being done in Michigan IN EVERY INDUSTRY with mobile/wireless technologies. The sad fact though is that our efforts are substantially more effective with the national and international audiences than they are with the ‘powers that be’ within our own state. But let’s set that aside for the moment and take a look at the impact these technologies are already having on Michigan:

  • Every mobile/wireless technology-related position created in Michigan also creates 3.9 additional non-mobile/wireless-related jobs in the state (MTAM/MEDC)
  • There are currently over 47,000 Michigan residents employed in mobile/wireless-related positions in over 2300 companies in the state (MTAM/MEDC)
  • The average compensation for a mobile/wireless-related position in Michigan is over $63,000 annually (MTAM/MEDC)

And let’s also take a look at the future of mobile/wireless technologies and the opportunity they provide for Michigan’s economy, its businesses and its residents:

  • Today there are 10 Billion+ connected objects; by 2020, there will be over 50 Billion, some studies think it will be as high as 70 Billion
  • Mobile/wireless technologies will cause the need for 220,000 new engineers every year between 2014 and 2022
  • Mobile/wireless technologies will create 600,000 more manufacturing jobs in the US
  • 300,000 new data analysts will be needed to bring intelligent decisions to ‘big data’
  • Mobile/wireless technologies (connected or autonomous) will drive $202 Billion in increased automotive revenue
  • Mobile/wireless technologies will drive $69 Billion in increased healthcare revenue
  • Mobile/wireless technologies will drive $445 Billion in increased consumer products revenue
  • Wireless broadband investment will create as many as 205,000 US jobs by 2015
  • Wireless jobs will continue to pay greater than 50% more than the average pay of other production workers
  • U.S. 4G wireless network investments will be up by as much as $53 Billion by 2016; resulting in up to $151 Billion in GDP growth and up to 771,000 jobs being created

Wouldn’t you want these opportunities to be in Michigan?

Suffice it to say that the opportunity for Michigan is unparalleled, but our government, civic, economic development and education leaders can’t seem to see the forest for the trees. For some reason when we talk about the economic opportunities to be gained from these technologies, they assume we are talking ONLY about mobile app development – even though we clearly say otherwise – and that is pretty much the ONLY area of mobile/wireless technology that anyone is even attempting to provide training in. And yet even the available mobile app development training is only a drop in the bucket compared to the need in that particular segment of the industry – even here in Michigan. We’re not coming close to meeting an already critical need for employees to fill mobile/wireless-related jobs, but yet we’re investing resources instead into an industry which will have minimal impact.

Think about it; for the last year it seems like everyone in Michigan is talking about  ‘the connected vehicle’. But, did it ever occur to you that ‘connected’ means mobile/wireless technologies, and that the type of jobs involved might include:  manufacturing, software development, quality control, equipment maintenance, installation, research, marketing/advertising, training, customer service, tech support, sales, and much more?  Within just the automotive industry can you begin to conceive how many jobs in this State will be impacted by these technologies?

Now add the following industries to your thought process:

  • healthcare
  • education
  • general manufacturing
  • retail
  • marketing/advertising
  • real estate
  • logistics
  • transportation management
  • financial services/banking
  • gaming
  • travel/tourism
  • agriculture
  • data security
  • entertainment
  • consumer services
  • business services
  • many, many more!

All of these industries are being substantially impacted by mobile/wireless technologies now – and will be impacted even more so as we move forward. In fact, it is becoming increasingly evident that the next few years will show in history that mobile/wireless technologies are similarly impactful to the global economy as was the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century.

Again, as I said earlier, I’m not against investing in Michigan’s fashion industry, or other’s like it that have some potential. What I am against is the complete lack of attention that is being paid to a group of technologies that are already contributing to this state’s economy via every industry in this state in a significant way. We collectively need to open our eyes before this incredible opportunity passes by the State of Michigan and instead goes to a state that is more open to understanding how imperative it is to act immediately and jointly, not as separate industries or as separate geographic areas in the state. Our unique strength which will drive our leadership position nationally and globally will be our ability to work together – cross-industry and statewide, and to ensure we have the education infrastructure in place to enable us to fulfill the employment pipelines in every segment of every industry where these technologies are being utilized.

To facilitate this, our Education, Government and Economic Development communities need to understand that mobile/wireless technologies require training other than Mobile App Development. Every Career Major at every community college or university should be including training on the use of mobile/wireless technologies within that industry as part of the curriculum.

We at the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) are dedicated to putting Michigan in a position to be the national and global leader in many areas of the mobile/wireless technologies field. We have many initiatives we are working on with partners who understand the opportunity – but MANY more partners are needed; from government, non-profits, education, economic development, foundations and business. If you would like to be involved or you would like more information, please feel free to reach out to us at info@GoMobileMichigan.org.

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Linda Daichendt is the Executive Director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, a Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan, a Co-host/Co-producer of the international mobile marketing podcast series, ‘The Mobile Marketing Review’ and a Co-host of the ‘This Week in Small Business Technology’ podcast series on the Michigan Business Network. She is also a Board Member for the Michigan STEM Partnership.

Linda is an accomplished marketer and award-winning blogger, and one of Michigan’s leading proponents of the use of mobile technologies for businesses of all sizes – and in all verticals. She is a recognized business expert with 20+ years of corporate, small business and franchising experience.

A 14-year resident of her adopted home state of Michigan, Linda’s daily focus is on educating Michigan business, government and education stakeholders about the opportunities that mobile/wireless technologies provide to substantially grow Michigan’s economy, as well as insuring the ability for all Michigan residents to benefit from the jobs and businesses created by mobile/wireless technologies.