Anytime I travel around the country and let people know what we do at Wineman Technology (WTI), the assumption is made that we must be strongly focused on the automotive market. While it is true that Michigan has an automotive-focused manufacturing sector, we also have thriving manufacturing in other sectors, including aerospace. WTI’s emphasis on “providing insight through electromechanical test” resonates in many industries, and we strive to balance our business volume between automotive, aerospace and other sectors by focusing on a range of applications that benefit from the same underlying technology.
Michigan and other states in the Midwest are very good at “making things”, and I believe that this skill is critical to our future as a country. Our ability to manufacture durable goods is the backbone of our national security, wealth creation and generation of valuable intellectual property. We cannot afford to lose this critical capability and the technology that is developed as a result of a thriving manufacturing sector. The fact that Michigan was recently ranked #2 in a recent aerospace manufacturing attractiveness ranking performed by PWC is very encouraging to me. All of this is why I am so excited to be a part of the newly formed Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM).
The association, a brainchild of Tony Vernaci, came out of his experience working in the industry and for the state of Michigan with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Tony noted there were more than 600 companies throughout the state working in the aerospace industry, yet no organizations focused on growing that industry within Michigan. He pitched the idea to Governor Snyder who encouraged him to “do it”, and within 6 months Tony found himself starting a nonprofit organization and meeting with industry leaders within the state to launch his dream, the AIAM.
Tony’s approach is to build a board of directors from around the state and include companies of various sizes and focuses within the aerospace industry. This board will serve as a panel of industry experts that will shape the organization as it grows. His goal is to create an organization that focuses on promoting the positive aspects of growing aerospace manufacturing in Michigan while building a coalition of business leaders, universities, and politicians to tackle challenges that face the industry. I am thrilled to work with Tony and to serve on the board as treasurer. I am also humbled to work with the other individuals on the board and enthusiastic about what we can do together.
The goals of the organization are:
- Collaboration with educators to develop and retain talent within the state
- Provide a voice for members into the legislative process on behalf of the industry
- Leverage the AIAM business network to recruit new talent, customers, and suppliers to the state
- Grow the industry by participation in trade shows, conferences, trade missions, and other industry events
We officially launched the association in Lansing on October 24 and enjoyed a brief meeting with Lt. Governor Brian Calley. At WTI we are excited about what the AIAM can do for our state as well as the region, and we are honored to be a founding member of the organization. It feels like a big challenge but one that is important and overdue.
AIAM’s board of directors with Lt. Governor Brian Calley
Membership in AIAM is open to companies in the aerospace industry plus non-aerospace companies considering an expansion of their products and services into the industry. Membership information and sign up is on the website at http://aiamnow.com. If you have questions or are interested in joining, Tony and members of the board including myself are actively recruiting new members and would be pleased to meet with you.
Source: Wineman Technology