Statement of MMA President & CEO John J. Walsh in Response to House Passage of Right-to-Work Repeal

LANSING (Mar. 9, 2023) — The Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) today released the following statement in response to the passage of the Right-to-Work Repeal by the Michigan House of Representatives late Wednesday, Mar. 8, 2023.

Statement of MMA President & CEO John J. Walsh

On behalf of the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) and Michigan’s manufacturing industry, I am deeply concerned about actions taken last night in the Michigan House of Representatives to reverse progress on Michigan’s economic competitiveness and the ability to grow and keep jobs.

While Michigan has been the cradle of manufacturing innovation for well over a century, the global transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles raises the question about whether Michigan will retain its manufacturing base into the 21st century. It is a critical question since manufacturing is the largest sector of the state’s economy, employing over 612,000 people in Michigan; the success or failure of Michigan’s manufacturing industry is the success or failure of our state.

New manufacturing investment will land in states with the most favorable business climates as companies continually seek the most favorable location to successfully compete in the global economy. And while Michigan’s new economic development incentives successfully attracted $17 billion in capital investment, creating over 15,000 new jobs in Michigan since the creation of the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund, most of the US based investments in new electric vehicle battery production have gone to other states. Michigan must continue to make our business climate more competitive in the national and global economy.

If Michigan loses its decade-long status as a Right-to-Work state, the Great Lakes State will remove itself from the list of states for potential new investment for both companies outside of Michigan and those who are already here. Whether the new investment is related to electric vehicle and battery production, or based in the knowledge economy, semiconductors or green energy, Michigan will lose future investment and we will lose good-paying manufacturing jobs.

The choice is clear. Michigan must compete for these technologically transformational jobs and projects or we risk losing them to states that choose not to interfere with employee choices. If we make the wrong choice, Michigan will lose jobs, people and families all to the detriment of our collective economic future.

This is a time for the Legislature to communicate clearly to manufacturing investors, both our existing manufacturing companies and those outside Michigan, that Michigan is open for business and we have the right skilled workforce to make their investments successful in the face of global competition. Repealing our Right-to-Work moves us in the wrong direction.

For more information or to schedule a call with MMA President & CEO John Walsh, contact MMA’s Delaney McKinley at 517-487-8530 or

Learn more about MMA.

Contact for Media Outreach

Delaney McKinleyDelaney McKinley
Executive Vice President of Operations
Call 517-487-8530