Detroit Regional Chamber > Advocacy > Chamber Discusses Importance of Michigan’s Defense Industry

Chamber Discusses Importance of Michigan’s Defense Industry

March 7, 2024

  • The Detroit Arsenal in Warren procured almost $6 billion worth of goods for the U.S. Army in FY 2022. 
  • To keep high-quality engineers in Michigan, the state needs to develop an innovation ecosystem and promote research and development. 

On March 5, the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted the bipartisan Aerospace and Defense Caucus in Lansing to educate legislators on the Chamber’s defense sector advocacy efforts. Adam Majestic, the Chamber’s Government Relations Manager, focused on the economic impacts that the defense industry brings to the state, over $7 billion in economic activity, and the state’s ability to diversify its economy in addition to the dominant automotive industry.

“There are several overlaps in the Michigan supplier base that the Department of Defense looks at when deciding where to spend their R&D dollars,” said Majestic, “Leading other states to try and take our research and development assets back to their state.”

The U.S. Army’s procurement arm is in the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, where nearly $6 billion in procurement was run through the installment in FY 2022. This ranges from socks to weapons systems to land vehicles.

Additionally, the Arsenal has several R&D offices, including GVSC, which is developing future army vehicles. Many colleges in the state produce high-quality engineers who leave the state for jobs in tech hub states like California and Texas.

“If we want to keep our University of Michigan and Michigan State engineers in the state, we need to work with the legislature to incentivize research and development in Michigan as well as transform the Region into an innovation ecosystem that promotes start-ups and private equity investments,” Majestic said.

In addition to an R&D tax credit, Majestic also previewed several other legislative priorities that the Chamber is prioritizing, including expanding licensure reciprocity for spouses of DoD contractors, promoting affordable housing in and around military bases, creating defense community support grants to attract more federal investments, and building upon existing resources in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to ensure Michigan is considered for future investments.

The Chamber continues developing its strategy around the defense and aerospace industry. If you or your company would like to be involved in shaping this strategy, please contact Adam Majestic at