Michigan is not just a state. Michigan inspires and cultivates big ideas and the leading-edge thinkers and doers behind them. From the pioneering advancements in assembly-line production in the early 1900s that made the Model T and car ownership for American workers a reality, to today’s groundbreaking research, testing and technologies driving the mobility revolution, innovation and manufacturing have been, and remain, an integral part of Michigan’s DNA.
This rich industrial heritage and culture of innovation are continuing to transform the way the world moves and works, while also permeating every industry in the state. It’s the bedrock of Michigan’s economy, attracting businesses from across the globe looking for the best place to set up shop or expand their operations.
Strong Industry Roots
Through the state’s rich history as the global leader of the automotive industry, Michigan has grown a vast ecosystem of automotive assets, knowledge and talent that help strengthen the link between innovation and manufacturing. There are 912 automotive plants in Michigan, including motor vehicle manufacturing, body and trailer manufacturing, and parts manufacturing. More than $10 billion is spent on automotive research and development in the state each year amounting to 75 percent of all R&D spending in the nation.
Rooted in manufacturing and innovation, Michigan is lending that expertise to other industries such as aerospace, defense, agribusiness and cybersecurity that diversify the state’s economy, while building on its core strengths.
Named by PwC as a top 10 state for aerospace manufacturing attractiveness in 2018, the state has the highest concentration of electrical, mechanical and industrial engineers in the country and is home to more than 600 aerospace-related companies, thanks to materials research facilities, major tooling companies and nationally-ranked engineering universities.
Leveraging R&D resources and knowledge, Michigan is the preeminent location for defense contractors – especially in metropolitan Detroit with the presence of United States Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) and Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) – along with a community of defense-related suppliers. Nearly 4,000 Michigan businesses are currently serving the defense industry, and Detroit leads all regions with nearly $2 billion in defense contracts each year.
With its history of moving people and goods, Michigan knows better than any state the importance cybersecurity will have on the future of transportation. That’s why the state established the Michigan Cyber Initiative. As a state-run test program that hones security software and cyber defense skills, the Michigan Cyber Range offers cyber exercises, digital forensic and more than 40 professional certifications based on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework. These Hubs serve as centers for the cyber ecosystem within their communities. The most recent Michigan Cyber Range Network was unveiled in Grand Rapids.
Connecting Mobility Entrepreneurs to Michigan
Michigan offers entrepreneurs and businesses unique, cross-industry opportunities – particularly for those at the intersection of manufacturing and technology. Ingrained in our DNA, Michigan continues to set the bar of innovation for automakers, auto suppliers and entrepreneurs who are developing and testing connected and automated vehicle technology, including connected infrastructure that will revolutionize the transportation of people and goods in the coming decades.
For mobility entrepreneurs, Michigan provides the resources to bring ideas to reality through PlanetM, a program designed to match mobility companies and investors with partners and resources to help them innovate and grow at a faster pace. Matching its innovation prowess with manufacturing experience, Michigan provides opportunity and access to a growing flow of capital and a host of state and private resources necessary to start and grow any new venture.
Additionally, entrepreneurs and startups of any size have access to support programs like SmartZones, where tech-based companies, entrepreneurs and researchers are connected to a network of business accelerators that provide development mentoring, feasibility studies, business planning, entrepreneurial training, market analysis, technology assessments and other services. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s entrepreneur and innovation team also works with the Michigan Venture Capital Association to provide Venture Upstart programs to build Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting investors with exceptional talent.
The Michigan Advantage
In Michigan, innovation meets one of the most business-friendly tax climates in the country – a combination that allows businesses to thrive.
Michigan’s competitiveness and growing economy are due in part to the simple, fair and efficient six percent corporate tax, and the elimination of industrial personal property taxes, estimated to save small businesses $372 million by 2020. As a result, Michigan is ranked among the top 10 states for major new and expanded facilities. The state is also No. 1 in the Midwest and No. 5 in the nation for business competitiveness, and in a survey of Michigan businesses, nearly two thirds described the state as having a positive business climate and would promote Michigan as a place to start a business.
Michigan is prepared to go the extra mile to make sure businesses are successful in the state and in a position to create jobs. In partnership with the state legislature, and local and regional economic development organizations, the Michigan Strategic Fund programs administered by the MEDC have been a catalyst in supporting more than $7.8 billion in private investment in facilities, machinery and technology while creating nearly 45,000 jobs in the fiscal year 2017, surpassing target goals.
Innovation in the Workforce
Michigan is a place that invests in education, giving its future workforce the skills they need to compete and succeed, and is known as a place where employers go to find top-notch talent.
Whether it’s the University of Michigan or Michigan Technological University, top educational institutions graduate a highly- talented, diverse workforce, including engineers that specialize in mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering. The state boasts nearly 123,000 engineers –the greatest concentration of skilled and engineering talent in the world – as well as a professional trades workforce of more than 245,000.
Michigan’s workforce investment doesn’t stop there. It is continuing to grow and attract talent with in-demand skills that help businesses thrive through the recently launched Michigan Marshall Plan for Talent. This $100-million initiative will transform Michigan’s talent pipeline by bolstering career-oriented school programs to train students for jobs in professional trades, information technology and other high-demand fields. Helping to connect employers and jobseekers, Pure Michigan Talent Connect, offers an extensive database of job openings, allowing visitors to post and view resumes, view upcoming job fairs and tap into a range of specialty career services.
From design to production – across a broad array of industries – Michigan has the talent to make ideas come to life.
Pure Michigan is Quality of Life
For everyone, Pure Michigan delivers an unmatched quality of life with a low cost of living, world renowned colleges and universities, and communities consistently ranked among the best places to live and work. These features coupled with a one-of-a-kind natural landscape – four of the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater coastline in the United States, 11,000 inland lakes, beaches, forests, parks, museums and hundreds of cultural and historic attractions – provide an epic quality of life.
Visit michiganbusiness.org to learn more about what makes Michigan a great place to do business.
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