Spinal Column: Senate resolution honors contributions of Michigan manufacturers

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Michigan has long been a global manufacturing leader, and we remain the national leader in the creation of manufacturing jobs, outpacing all other states.

In recognition of the importance of Michigan manufacturing to the state, the nation and the world, I recently co-sponsored Senate Resolution 101, which honors Michigan manufacturers and their essential work.

That work encompasses the industries of machinery fabrication, construction, computer and electrical products, furniture, transportation, alternative energy, food and beverage, bioscience, defense-related manufacturing, and many others.

Manufacturing is central to our economy not only for the production of necessary goods, but for several other reasons as well:

• Manufacturing is vital to other industries because it yields constant innovations and produces ever-evolving technologies;

• Manufacturing is one of the most critical components in the creation of a strong national security and defense; and

• Manufacturing is the greatest wealth builder for our economy and our nation — for all levels of wage earners.

The numbers surrounding this industry in our state are impressive.

Manufacturing represents one-fifth of Michigan’s gross state product; total manufacturing output in the state exceeds $92.55 billion annually.

One out of every seven nonfarm jobs in Michigan is in manufacturing, employing 608,500 men and women.

Michigan has created more than 156,500 new manufacturing jobs in the last eight years — an increase of 34.6 percent.

And more growth is still possible in the industry as new, skilled talent enters the workforce to claim the more than 3.5 million high-paying, high-tech and innovative advanced manufacturing careers expected to be needed over the next decade.

The passage of SR 101 corresponded with Michigan Manufacturing Week — which ran from Sunday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Oct. 7 — as well as Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 6.

Manufacturing Day celebrates modern manufacturing and is designed to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Every year on this day, manufacturers invite people in their communities — students, educators, businesspeople, media, and politicians — to their facilities to inform them of manufacturing career opportunities and to educate them about their work.

This year, Michigan Manufacturing Week and SR 101 highlighted the positive careers in manufacturing and applauded the entrepreneurial spirit of Michigan’s manufacturers, as well as their role in making Michigan the Comeback State it is today.

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.