By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – Manufacturing organizations are partnering after receiving a $2.19 million federal grant through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. According to the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), the grant will fund the Southeast Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Realization Cluster project—known as “the Cluster”—and connect manufacturers across the state to form a fast-growing community of firms.
Participants include the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance in Taylor, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in Dearborn, the Workforce Intelligence Network in Detroit, the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center in Plymouth. SEMCA will act as the fiscal agent for key elements of the grant, and each participating organization will have responsibility over a portion of the funds, with the common goal of “connecting manufacturing firms and helping them support lower-volume, rapid-production, highly custom projects,” according to SEMCA. Data from the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that manufacturers account for nearly 16 percent of the state’s total gross state product and employ about 12.3 percent of the workforce. According to the participating organizations, forming the Cluster will allow smaller, traditional manufacturers to pool resources.