Jenell Leonard



Industry experts share data on Michigan leading the nation in areas of aerospace design, manufacturing, innovation, and talent

ROCHESTER, MI, OCTOBER 8, 2021 – Michigan continues to be a leader in the aerospace industry, with predictions of continued growth and high demand within the areas of design, manufacturing, innovation, and talent.

“For over a century, Michigan has maintained its position and reputation as the leader in U.S. manufacturing and aerospace,” said Tony Vernaci, Founder and President of the Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan. “Today, even in a post-covid environment, we are seeing opportunities of sustainability, continued growth, and high demand for our industry companies.”

Aerospace in Michigan is supported by over 30,000 direct jobs and over 900 companies. In a 2018 study conducted by AeroDynamic Advisory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, managing director Dr. Kevin Michaels stated that of those companies and organizations, approximately 477 are doing business directly with a major industry OEM or Tier 1, ultimately representing $6.4 billion in company revenues. Dr. Michaels qualified the study as pre-COVID data with current industry predictions anticipating the industry returning to pre-COVID levels as soon as 2026.

“The aerospace industry needs Michigan because it is one of the fastest-growing states in percentage growth of AS9100 site certification,” said Dr. Michaels. “Michigan can build major high-quality components for AS9100 standards with a high concentration of engineering, precision tooling and component manufacturing companies needed for aerospace. When OEMs and primes think of manufacturing excellence, Michigan naturally comes to mind first.”

In addition to meeting industry standards and certifications, Michigan is also a hub for talent with its unique cluster of research universities engaged in both public and private aerospace programs. The University of Michigan has the oldest aerospace engineering program in the country. University of Michigan’s Space Institute is on course to be a world leader in space studies. From space weather to statistical mathematics, this program is advancing ideas, concepts, theories, and technologies. Michigan has the largest concentration of engineers of any state in the country and has a jumpstart on other states in its focus on STEM education and preparing students for next-gen systems.

Michigan is also launching into the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry. Electric vertical takeoff and landing, tilt-wing aircraft are now in the full-scale prototype stages. The market for clean, quiet, and fast UAM solutions includes logistics value-chain, personal, corporate, and government travelers; emergency medical services, tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. There is huge potential in Michigan as the UAM market is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley. Moreover, Michigan’s large roster of suppliers serving the automotive and aerospace industry positions the state to achieve a leadership position in this enormous opportunity.

Representing over 125 Michigan aerospace companies, AIAM is hosting a legislative advocacy day on October 19th in Lansing, Michigan. The legislative day is a great opportunity for AIAM members to inform lawmakers how much the aerospace industry contributes to Michigan’s economy and means to our future. AIAM members can register online to participate in the legislative day.

Please visit the AIAM website at to learn more about the association, upcoming events, and Michigan’s robust footprint in the aerospace industry.