AS VEGAS — Automotive employers require local support to flourish, as supplier Robert Bosch has in South Carolina for several decades. Bosch's growing manufacturing operations require a steady flow of engineers coming in as well as partnerships with universities to keep up with changing technology and management practices.
Mike Mansuetti went to work for Bosch's fuel injector plant in Charleston, S.C., in 1988 as a recent mechanical engineering graduate from Clemson University. The supplier and the South Carolina university now work together on several levels.
Mansuetti, 54, has been Bosch's president for North American operations since 2012. He spoke with News Editor Lindsay Chappell during CES here last month about the company's demand for more engineers, its close relations with Clemson and its ongoing investment in South Carolina.
Q: How many engineers does Bosch need to hire in North America?
A: We are hiring 25,000 globally, and many of the openings are in North America. We need people for our AI team, in software engineering and in electrical. The openings are in our plants, at our research and our tech centers. And the activity in our autonomous driving is increasing.Is this simply a constant need for a company as large as Bosch or a reflection of the new technologies you're moving into?
The numbers are increasing, and also the skill sets in computer science is much greater than a few years ago. We're focused on areas like AI and deep learning. And these are people who are not just computer programmers, but people who understand AI.
We have apprenticeship programs in place. We've had them forever in the plants to recruit in the classic electromechanical engineering areas. But now, we're expanding the programs to include software, programming and coding, not to just build our new work force but to also retrain our existing work force.