Chris Holman speaks with Tony Vernaci, President/Founder, Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM), based out of Rochester, MI. He’s back with the Michigan Business Beat now sharing the latest on AIAM and PwC 2019 Report.

In the conversation Tony and Chris cover how:

Michigan advanced to 4th in the Nation and best in the Midwest when it comes to Aerospace manufacturing attractiveness.

Michigan has been consistently ranked by PwC as a top 10 state, but this year AIAM proactively connected with PwC to ensure Michigan’s aerospace assets were fully evaluated as part of the ranking process .

AIAM was created with the goal to elevate and grow Michigan’s aerospace industry; we welcome new members every month.

Michigan has a long-standing history in aerospace dating back to the early 1900’s; today, Michigan has over 800 already existing companies in the aerospace industry and has attracted more than $750 million in additional aerospace industry capital investments in the past 18 months. 

Michigan is an incubator for talent with 18 academic institutions providing aerospace and/or aviation-related curriculum and degrees.

Here’s the AIAM story release on this news!


ROCHESTER, MICHIGAN, July 30, 2019 – PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) today released its 2019 report on “Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness,” ranking Michigan as the best state in the Midwest for Aerospace manufacturing attractiveness, and rising from 8th in 2018 to 4th in the 2019 report. 

“These rankings are a significant achievement as PwC recognizes and acknowledges Michigan’s history in aerospace, its sustainability, and the growth of the industry now and in the future,” said Tony Vernaci, President of the Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM). “Aerospace manufacturers are seeing what Michigan has to offer and are excited about the future of the industry in the state. Being the number one state in the country for tax policy, and third in the nation for its economy, we are confident that we will continue to attract aerospace companies to Michigan.” 

Michigan is home to over 800 already-existing aerospace companies and has attracted nearly $750 million in additional aerospace capital investments in the past 18 months. PwC’s feature write-up of Michigan touts its favorable corporate tax structure and a healthy economy as strong contributors to the reason for the ranking advancement and heralds Michigan’s focus of “targeting space-related ventures, ranging from advanced research to space port site analysis for launching low-earth orbit satellites.” PwC also acknowledges the work of AIAM, which has taken the reigns for collaborating with partners across the state and around the globe to continue to grow the industry and enhance aerospace educational and career opportunities. You can read the entire report here. 

“AIAM has worked diligently with industry partners around the globe to showcase Michigan’s growth, depth and opportunity for the future in aerospace,” said Jeff Simek, a board member of AIAM and General Manager at RCO Aerospace and RCO Engineering. “We will continue to work with our industry partners to ensure Michigan continues to rise in the rankings by maintaining a pro-business and pro-aerospace environment here in Michigan.” 

The Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan is a non-profit, member-driven industry organization. It is a platform for aerospace leaders in the state to work together on a common set of priorities to strengthen and support the continued growth in the industry through talent attraction and new investment in Michigan. Learn more about AIAM by visiting their website:


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