Ranking #1! First Place! Everyone can relate to that—especially when it comes to our favorite sports team. How about in terms of our state? What about Michigan as number 1? Not the University, but the state. The goal of Business Leaders for Michigan is to make our state among the Top Ten for job, economic and personal income growth. Sure, we’d love to be number 1 but that will take some time. For now, we’d settle for Top Ten.
However, there is one area where we are currently number 1 and that’s with engineers. Did you know that Michigan is the number one state in the nation in the number of engineers per capita? We are at the head of the pack when it comes to engineers. Of course, that’s because of our strong automotive manufacturing heritage. Michigan engineers have helped the American manufacturing sector and the automotive industry achieve the highest productivity rates in the world. That’s a big deal! And, there’s more opportunity because in the future, productivity increases will be critical in developed countries as they work to improve the incomes of their citizens. Our operational excellence in auto manufacturing can be applied to other advanced manufacturing sectors to help increase productivity and efficiency there as well.
We need our engineers to continue to improve Michigan-based manufacturing but in the years ahead, the world is going to need engineers – and Michigan can supply them! As companies look for ways to improve productivity and efficiency, the need for engineering services is expected to grow at rates far greater than that of the economy as a whole. This will be especially true for high-tech manufacturing fields. Advanced and regulated industries such as aerospace and military/defense provide a strong and growing opportunity for engineering services. Those industries will continue to grow because of their strategic importance to scientific discovery and national defense.
There will also be a rising demand for cutting edge IT solutions driven by increased globalization of advanced manufacturing technologies, which may present an “on-shoring” opportunity for higher skill engineering. Translation: More work for Michigan engineers!
And, there’s more. . . Michigan’s universities have a strong pipeline of engineering talent. We have access to skilled talent in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (or STEM) fields, which provides us the ability to provide high-end engineering services at competitive costs. In addition, we have strong support networks through organizations like the Engineering Society of Detroit, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the Center for Automotive Research and others.
So, the world may be shopping for engineers. We can fill that need right here in the mitten state. We’ve all seen the Chrysler commercial “imported from Detroit.” How does “Engineered in Michigan” sound? By offering solutions to global companies, we could make that brand known around the world and keep our number 1 ranking. That’s something to strive for.