After years of cutbacks and layoffs, a real recovery is taking hold in the U.
S. auto industry. Production schedules are being increased, shifts are being added and long-postponed vehicle programs are being given the green light.
It should be cause for celebration, but the industry is finding a cruel twist in the nation’s slow economic revival: There does not seem to be enough engineers and skilled technicians to fill a skyrocketing number of new positions.
The problem is particularly acute at automotive suppliers. Companies cut staffs 20% to 30% in 2009 during the depths of the recession and scaled back internships and other programs designed to recruit new talent. Now they are playing catch-up as auto makers step up product-development schedules and begin to fill new-product pipelines for the ’14 and ’15 model years.