AIAM provides multiple benefits to companies regardless of their size or how much aerospace business they have today. Through AIAM’s network, a small or medium size company will have the opportunity to become a supplier to aerospace companies in the state who may have previously been unaware of their existence or capabilities. Additionally, our board of directors meet on a regular basis. The locations of those meetings are rotated to different member locations to create a better awareness of Michigan’s aerospace assets and develop new relationships. Larger companies are continuously looking for new suppliers and ways to reduce costs by localizing their supply base. They will also benefit greatly by becoming an AIAM member and extending their network of potential suppliers.
Careful consideration has been given on how we select our board members. First, we strive to have multiple aspects of the industry eco-system represented. Secondly, we work hard to make sure the board represents small, medium and large businesses. Lastly, since different factors can impact a company depending on where they are located in the state, board members come from various geographic locations. A seat on the board is a limited opportunity and new board members are rotated in on scheduled basis.
AIAM has recognized this as a high priority for companies and is committed to always have the education community represented on the board. This will provide a steady voice from the industry to the educators in the state so they can continually refresh the curriculum to meet the current and future needs for talent. The association will also leverage our relationships with the schools in the state as a platform for recruiting interns and new graduates. We also recognize companies are always searching for seasoned talent as well. This is why we will organize and participate in job fairs around the country where pools of critical talent are identified. Member companies will have access to participate in all of these activities as it fits their needs.
The aerospace industry in Michigan is quite significant. There are approximately 600 companies and organizations in the state conducting business in the industry today. Approximately 400 of those companies are in manufacturing and the balance provides support through engineering, airport services and education. There is a strong need to have a collective voice to represent the industry.
In the past, Michigan has been recognized as the automotive capital of the world and for good reasons. However, some believe our dominance in automotive drew attention away from the development that was taking place in other industries. Many believe it was economic swings in the automotive industry that drove companies to diversify their business portfolio into other industries. Whatever the case, recognition for Michigan’s aerospace industry is growing which was demonstrated when PwC rated Michigan as #2 in the nation for aerospace manufacturing attractiveness in 2015 and 2017.
Absolutely! Many of the aerospace companies in the state will tell you they do not necessarily recruit an aerospace engineer for their business. As an example, they hire an electrical, mechanical or computer science engineer and train the individual accordingly to their specific products. Michigan has the highest concentration of mechanical, electrical and design engineers than any other state in the country. Much of this talent comes from our strength in other industries such as automotive and companies have found those skills to be easily transferable to aerospace. There is a significantly higher probability you will find the right person for your business right here in the state.