Page banner: Students working in the AMP Lab at WMU

Community Collaboration

Funding for the development of the AMP Lab @ WMU is partially through private gifts from our supportive community.

Donors include Amway Corp., AutocamMedical Devices LLC, Cascade Engineering, Flexco, Haworth, Inc., Herman Miller Inc., Interphase, John C. and Nancy G. Kennedy Family Foundation, The Meijer Foundation, Paragon Die and Engineering Co., Peter and Joan Secchia Family, The Right Place, Inc. - Manufacturer's Council, Rockwell Automation and The Steve and Amy Van Andel Foundation.

John C. Kennedy, president of Grand Rapids-based Autocam Medical, is involved in programs to raise awareness for the need for skilled and educated makers throughout West Michigan. Kennedy has been instrumental in building support within the engineering and manufacturing communities for the creation of AMP Lab @ WMU.

Some of the equipment  at the AMP Lab @ WMU came from a current GRCC facility, partially funded through an MEDC grant in 2015.


Today's Michigan manufacturer defines the modern entrepreneur

Manufacturing accounts for 15 percent of all jobs in the region and remains the heart of West Michigan’s economy. During the economic downturn, when other communities abandoned manufacturing, West Michigan doubled-down. In 2009, manufacturing in West Michigan began an era of unprecedented job creation and investment, surpassing both state and national averages year after year.


Workforce Development

Talent 2025 is an organization of 100 CEOs from West Michigan working to ensure an ongoing supply of talent for the region. Their recent industry research indicates twice as many opportunities for engineers and designers in manufacturing as there are qualified individuals. The assessment also states the supply for managers and supervisors within the manufacturing industry in the region is about 90 percent of the demand.

  • 15% of all jobs in West Michigan are in manufacturing

By the Numbers

Comparable Communities

By Metropolitan Statistical Area

Allentown, PA36,052925
Birmingham, AL41,2221,118
Buffalo, NY51,6551,313
Grand Rapids, MI103,0721,739
Greenville, SC54,7111,113
Knoxville, TN37,265771
Rochester, NY58,2421,360
Tucson, AZ23,742614
Tulsa, OK53,6171,530
Worcester, MA40,9451,133

West Michigan Manufacturing Workforce

  • 141,315 total jobs

  • 2,452 establishments

  • $69,133 average earnings

  • + 23% job growth

—Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Census American Community Survey and Moody’s Analytics