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Report: Michigan’s Advanced Manufacturing Workforce At Its Highest Levels Since 2006

More than 28,000 jobs added in the Great Lakes State in Q1 2016

DETROIT – Demand for advanced manufacturing workers is continuing its upward trend as 2015 marked the state’s sixth consecutive year of employment growth in the field with nearly 700,000 workers employed; a trend consistent through Q1 2016. That is the highest employment number since 2006 and a nearly 30 percent increase from the middle of the Great Recession in 2009. This according to a new report from LIFT – (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow) and WIN (Workforce Intelligence Network).

The quarterly report highlighting the employment trends, top jobs, and required skills in advanced manufacturing through Q1 2016, covers the five-state LIFT region of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

“The continued growth in employment and job postings shows the continued demand from employers for workers with skills in advanced manufacturing,” said Emily Stover Derocco, education and workforce development director for LIFT. “Our goal is to make the U.S. the global leader in advanced manufacturing, which is something we can only attain if we close the skills gap between workers and the jobs needing to be filled. We will continue to work with industry members, our partners, educators and labor leaders to fill that gap.”

Throughout the five-state lightweighting region, advanced manufacturing employment increased by 75,674 jobs in Q1 2016 over Q4 2015. The largest jump in employment during that time was seen in Michigan with an increase of 28,344 jobs. Additionally, according to Michigan’s Q1 2016 market report, online job ads for lightweighting-related occupations in Michigan jumped by 18.7 percent since Q4 2015, from 27,278 postings to 32,372 – 29 percent higher than one year ago or Q1 2015.

“Manufacturing demand and employment in Michigan continue to rise as the economy improves and employers expand operations here,” said Elliot Forsyth, Vice President of Business Operations, MMTC and member of the Michigan LIFT State Team. “That demand is further evidence that there are jobs and careers available for skilled, highly-trained workers right here in Michigan.”

The top five positions sought in Michigan job postings in Q1 2016 were: General Maintenance and Repair Workers (3,564 postings); Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers (2,823 postings); Mechanical Engineers (2,279 postings); Electrical Engineers (2,113 postings), and; Production Workers (1,606 postings).

The full Michigan report can be viewed at:


LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes in the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit to learn more.

The Workforce Intelligence Network of Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between nine community colleges and six Michigan Works! Agencies, in partnership with numerous other organizations, to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success. WIN covers a 16-county area, including Genesee, Hillsdale, Huron, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw, and Wayne. WIN was founded with the support of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan and publicly launched in November 2011.