Michigan remains a manufacturing leader

Manufacturing will be celebrated throughout North America this week, and few other states reflect the proud history and promise of the commercial processes that transform raw materials into products as Michigan, from automotive to information technologies to pharmaceutical industries.

This week culminates in Manufacturing today, Friday Oct. 5.

In Michigan, there are more than 80 public events highlighting the range of emerging jobs and advanced manufacturing processes.

At a watershed moment in the history of global commerce in the fields of automotive, technology, health-care and agriculture, there are emerging opportunities for small- and medium-size businesses in a contemporary world of advanced manufacturing that hardly resembles the manufacturing of past generations.

Today, the key for manufacturing businesses is to quickly find opportunities and strategic partnerships in a fast-changing international marketplace, said Ryan Michael, director of Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC), a state-supported service that helps businesses save time searching for contracts, and identifies supply chain opportunities. In addition, PMBC hosts matchmaking activities, which has proven to be a vital resource to expedite small- and medium-sized businesses’ search for the next key connection, deal and contract.

“From an industrial standpoint, the world is getting smaller, and we’ve learned from the economic downturn (of 2008) that we need to be a partner in assisting small- and medium Michigan businesses identify new opportunities, whether it’s in Michigan, the U.S. or around the world,” he said.

Since PMBC began in 2011, PMBC has spearheaded connections among suppliers and purchasers that have facilitated more than $7 billion in contracts, and created or retained 32,000 jobs in Michigan.

The widespread engagement of businesses from all economic sectors and regions of the world in PMBC’s summits is an endorsement of Michigan’s reputation as a state of “making things extremely well,” said Michael.

“We need to keep telling the story that the Michigan economy is built on entrepreneurship and innovation,” he said. “Nowhere is that spirt embodied more than among the state’s small- and medium-size business community.”

Access to a talented and skilled workforce is crucial to addressing ongoing business challenges, especially new manufacturing jobs that require a range of skills, from engineering to skilled trades.

Michigan has the nation-leading approach to training skilled-trades labor with 277,000 members, which ranks eighth in the U.S., and leads the country with the most funds dedicated to skill-trades training.

“As advocates for the state’s small- and medium-sized businesses, we’re telling the story that our tradition in manufacturing gives us a great advantage,” said Michael. “In Michigan, we know how to make things better than anyplace else.”

Manufacturing in Michigan

Since 2009, Michigan is among the leading states creating new manufacturing jobs. In the U.S., about 8.5 percent of the workforce is employed in manufacturing work.

Manufacturing businesses run the gamut of industries.

The common features among manufacturers is making products, whether it’s with machines and equipment or by hand.

During the last eight years, PMBC has hosted summits to bring together suppliers and purchasers to support the state’s manufacturing industries.

These gatherings have been crucial in facilitating contracts in a range of industries, including automotive, agriculture, aviation, defense and cybersecurity.

More than 557,000 private-sector jobs have been added in Michigan since December 2010, including 122,800 manufacturing jobs since December 2010.

Other key manufacturing-related statistics include:

  • Michigan has more than 14,000 manufacturing facilities.
  • Michigan ranks fourth for manufacturing states for employment. (Source: Business Facilities magazine, 2017), and third for percentage of manufacturing workforce.
  • Automotive facilities produce more than 19 percent of U.S. auto production.
  • Automotive manufacturing jobs comprise about 40 percent of total manufacturing jobs in Michigan.

For information on Manufacturing Day events, visit and select “Michigan” at https://mfgday.com

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