More Than a Century of Service Begins - and Ends - with Listening to Members

This article appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.

MMA has been the voice of the Michigan manufacturing industry for 120 years, and throughout that time we have maintained a steady focus on listening to — and responding to — the needs of our members. As economic upheaval, workforce shortages and supply chain disruptions continue to challenge manufacturing operations, MMA is finding new ways to back our members.

Continued Dues Relief

The MMA Board of Directors and staff have made the decision to keep member dues investments stable for an additional year. Existing members and those looking to join our collective drive for industry success will experience no increase in membership dues for 2022.

This decision continues MMA’s focus on supporting our members as we work together to weather the challenges posed since March of 2020. We hope that easing this burden for another year will aid our members as they emerge even stronger than before the pandemic.

Strengthening the Pipeline of Manufacturing Talent

Facing a limited talent pipeline and stubbornly persistent misconceptions about manufacturing career opportunities, Michigan manufacturers need ambitious, creative and prepared employees ready to engage in a bright future in advanced manufacturing.

To achieve this goal, I am proud to announce that the number of SME Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education (PRIME schools) — which offer career pathways that provide robust, hands-on instruction that aligns with industry needs and industry-recognized certifications — will be doubling in 2022. There are currently 17 PRIME schools in Michigan, and another 16 are set to begin development this year thanks to a $6 million appropriation secured by MMA.

MMA partners with the SME Education Foundation to develop PRIME schools that address the critical manufacturing talent shortage by teaching in-demand skills and knowledge in additive manufacturing, computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing, industrial maintenance, machining and fabrication, mechatronics/robotics, metrology and quality and welding.

This cutting-edge programming is a proven solution to developing highly qualified manufacturing talent. The 2021 SME PRIME Outcomes Report indicates that 89 percent of SME PRIME seniors nationwide pursued careers or education in manufacturing or engineering after graduation.

Michigan schools have been identified for programs and MMA will be reaching out to local manufacturers to inform the development of a tailored curriculum incorporating hand-on training on modern, industry-standard equipment that aligns with local talent demand.

Contact MMA’s Mike Johnston, at 517-487-8554 or, to discuss opportunities to boost your company’s talent pipeline and improve the image of manufacturing careers.


I look forward to and appreciate our continued work toward Michigan’s economic recovery. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Association to let us know how we can continue to help you.

Contact John J. Walsh

John J. WalshMMA President & CEO
Call 517-487-8550