|The Oakland Aerospace Advantage
Aerospace product manufacturing was one of 20 industries forecast to grow here between 2008 and 2011. Boeing conducts business with over 286 Michigan-based suppliers resulting in purchases of over $552 million.
Forty-seven percent of Oakland County's electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing firms are in the relay and industrial controls industry. In addition, 16 percent of the firms produce switchgears/switchboards or current-carrying wiring devices.
Oakland County aerospace manufacturers are top industry performers. Williams International of Walled Lake has been voted No. 1 by Professional Pilot Magazine in after sale product support for the past 11 years.
History has proven that Michigan's work force can successfully apply automotive manufacturing skills to the aerospace industry. The Ford Willow Run plant produced B-24 bombers throughout WWII, reaching astonishing
production levels of 25 aircraft per day. During WWII, a Lawrence Technological University alumnus developed the high wing/rear door design still used in cargo aircraft worldwide.
There are nine Michigan universities with departments and/or programs that are associated with the aerospace industry.
Lawrence Technological University's Center for Innovative Materials Research (CIMR) is a $3.2 million, 7,200-square-foot nationally recognized laboratory that specializes in the development of innovative materials and focuses on finding new applications for carbon fiber composites, ceramics and polymers.
According to U.S. News, the University of Michigan Engineering School is ranked 9th in the nation. Since it was established in 1914, the Department of Aerospace Engineering at UM has been recognized as one of the leading aerospace departments in the country. Currently, the university's Aerospace Engineering program is ranked 5th in the nation (tied with Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University).
Aerospace companies in Southeast Michigan have access to six airports throughout the product development process.
Founded in 2007, the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) supports manufacturers in their diversification efforts into the aerospace industry. MAMA has grown to 50 members and helped secure more than $32 million in new business from the aerospace industry.
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