By: Jennifer Baum
The floors of Macomb County’s manufacturing plants are abuzz with the latest technologies, churning out everything from tiny medical devices to massive aerospace components that save lives while pushing the limits of science.
They’re a far cry from the low-tech, dirty factories of the past. Macomb’s modern manufacturing facilities feature clean, brightly lit and high-tech work areas full of skilled workers…
Step into any modern manufacturing facility and you’re bound to encounter a clean, brightly lit and high tech work area. While the jobs of yesterday may have been repetitive, today’s jobs are unique and demand problem solving skills and critical thinking.
And in Macomb County, manufacturing is king. As many as one in four jobs are directly connected to the manufacturing industry, and each new manufacturing job creates 1.47 spinoff jobs to support the industry – everything from restaurant workers to firefighters.
So why Macomb? While the automotive industry has a lot to do with Macomb’s natural ability to excel in manufacturing, a key mantra over the past decade+ has been “diversify,” and diversify Macomb County has. Companies traditionally anchored in automotive have branched into aerospace, robotics, life sciences and defense, to name a few other growing industries in Macomb County.
While active diversification has played a big role in the region’s prowess in manufacturing, the nature of the people of the region can be credited as well. Macomb County has been a home for generations of skilled workers. You could say it’s in our blood.
In addition, the tool and die industry in this region is stronger than anywhere else in the world, and you cannot have a strong manufacturing base without a supportive tool and die industry.
If there’s any doubt that the rest of the country has taken notice, consider that in September of 2015, President Obama chose Macomb Community College to announce the institution is one of 46 entities selected for a share of $175 million in federal grants to develop new apprenticeship programs targeting manufacturing opportunities.
While companies around the world are taking note of Macomb County’s edge in manufacturing and choosing to locate or expand here, the other side of the coin is that companies that have long been located in Macomb County are often selected to do business with other companies headquartered out of state or internationally, simply because companies in Macomb County offer the best expertise.
Through various outreach programs and workforce development programs, tomorrow’s generation of workers (and their parents) are getting the idea that manufacturing isn’t the dirty, dull and dying industry it used to be.
Sources: Macomb County, Macomb Intermediate School District
For a more in depth look, we’re highlighting various companies and initiatives throughout Macomb County that are putting us on the map. Check back for more pieces added to this series.