Great Lakes Manufacturing Council

Our five focus areas

Image, Innovation, Workforce, Logistics & Borders, and Manufacturing Policy are our key areas of focus. Find out more about each initiative by clicking below.


Hot topics

Making the Case

How best to change the image of manufacturing? By stressing the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. and Canadian future. Image will follow. Join the discussion.

Getting the Facts

How we see ourselves is critical to how others perceive us. Let’s identify as many “Did you know” facts about our region, our states and our provinces, and let’s share them. Join the discussion.

FACT: Growing the Economy

Growing manufacturing is the best way to grow an economy. That’s because manufacturing generally produces the highest multipliers. Manufacturing requires more intermediate goods and capital equipment and pays good wages. According to the Economic Policy Institute, manufacturing employment multipliers range from 175 in apparel to 464 in automobile production to 904 in computer equipment and office machinery. Many of the Great Lakes manufacturing sectors are among the higher manufacturing multipliers.

Manufacturing is who we are.

Manufacturing makes the Great Lakes home to the world’s fourth largest economy, with a combined GDP of $4.7 trillion among the eight states and two provinces. Manufacturing with all its advantages is intrinsic and essential to our region’s success. We make things together.

Bi-National Collaboration

The Great Lakes Manufacturing Council works to promote, preserve and enhance manufacturing in the Great Lakes Region. We foster innovative partnerships, identify best practices, enhance resources and increase exposure to new ideas. Collaborating among council members, we will help manufacturers and their communities compete.

THE BIG M Plans Return in 2015

Mark you calendars!  After a successful conference this year, planning is underway for THE BIG M's return in 2015.  The event will take place June 2-4 at Cobo Center in Detroit.  You can stay up-to-date with the event by visiting

Making the Case for North American Freight Corridors

Stephen Blank lays out the reasons why both Washington and Ottawa need new initiatives to address infrastructures that are both inadequate to serve huge volumes of traffic within the continent and uncompetitive relative to the rest of the world. To read his commentary features in the Canadian International Council's website, click here.

OAI Announces DoD Proposal Preparation Essentials Seminar

The Ohio Aerospace Institute will be conducting a training seminar focused on Department of Defense (DoD) proposals for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs. DoD's SBIR/STTR budget exceeds $1.4 billion will pre-release proposal topics for the next solicitation on August 21, 2014. Proposals will be due by October 22. This seminar is intended for those seeking a better understanding of the program basics and those contemplating an SBIR/STTR proposal submission.

Vice President Biden Releases Job Training Report

In his 2014 State of the Union address, the President tasked Vice President Biden with leading a review of federal employment and training programs, with the aim of making them more job-driven. That review is complete, and now that the White House has identified what is working across the United States, the aim is to multiply those shining examples.

A New Breed of Apprenticeship Programs: Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT²®) Program

The State of Michigan sponsors the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT²®) Program, which is based in part on learning from the vaunted German apprenticeship system.  To learn more about this valuable program, click here.  The Council is interested in highlighting initiatives like this one and we invite you to share with us information on similar programs in your area.

Manufacturing stagnation ahead? Report predicts little gain in manufacturing employment as Grand Rapids economy diversifies

A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago compares the Grand Rapids area to peer Midwestern cities to find that Kent County’s most prevalent manufacturing industries are poised for stagnant employment growth over the next six years.

Harley-Davidson Unveils Electric Motorcycle

Iconic motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson is taking the electric vehicle market for a spin.  The Milwaukee-based company on Thursday unveiled its first electric motorcycle. The bike, dubbed Project LiveWire, marks a drastic change for Harley, a brand known for its signature loud and powerful motorcycles.  To read more, click here.

Jason Kenney warns of coming skilled workers gap

A shortage of skilled workers will be one of Canada’s greatest future economic challenges, Employment Minister Jason Kenney recently told a skills summit.  The conference held in Toronto brought together stakeholders to discuss the labour market, employee training and those under-represented in the labour force.  To read more about Kenney's comments, click here.

Ontario's Regional Economic Development and Innovation Newsletter

In this recent issue of Ontario's Regional Economic Develoopment and Innovation Newsletter there were three articles of interest:

Understanding the U.S. National Innovation System

Productivity: by the numbers

There are some interesting perspectives that accompany this chart. Productivity is a fundamental component of economic growth.  As we read it, the productivity number is for the entire economy. We will see if we can surface comparable numbers for the manufacturing sectors.

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