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Planning and Economic Development

aerospace and defense

Macomb County makes the parts that drive America’s aerospace and defense systems.

Macomb is home to more than 150 of the state’s nearly 600 aerospace suppliers. And Michigan consistently ranks as a “Top 10 state in Aerospace” due to its concentration of electrical and mechanical engineers, manufacturing friendly laws and business climate.

In addition, Macomb County has long been known as the “Arsenal of Democracy,” after delivering automotive technology and manufacturing prowess that helped win World War II. That tradition continues today with Macomb County serving as the U.S. Army’s ground combat vehicle’s home base.

We are home to the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Armaments Command (TACOM) and Selfridge Air National Guard Base and only a short drive away from Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC).


Why Macomb County?


Workforce snapshot


Projected job growth from 2017-2027


Jobs in 2017


Jobs in 2022


Projected jobs in 2027



Important industry data 

  • In 2020, nearly 5,490 Department of Defense contracts valued at $3.22 billion were awarded to Macomb companies.
  • Macomb’s manufacturers produce an average of $46 billion in goods annually.
  • Michigan’s aerospace producers exported goods valued at more than $5.8 billion in 2021.
  • Automation Alley reports Michigan is the fastest-growing state for venture capital investment with $3.1 billion in 2020, up from $300 million in 2016, according to Crunchbase, which tracks data on companies.
  • Michigan is one of the few states that has more than one resident "unicorn company" -- a privately held startup company with a value of more than $1 billion. Since 2018, five Michigan companies — Duo Security, Llamasoft, Onestream Software, Rivian Automotive and StockX — qualified for that billion-dollar-club status.

Programs available for businesses

  • Industrial Facility Tax Exemption (PA 198) – provides a tax incentive to manufacturers to enable renovation and expansion of aging facilities, assist in the building of new facilities, and to promote the establishment of high-tech facilities.
  • International Landing Zone – housed in the Velocity Center in Sterling Heights, the ILZ is open to international and domestic businesses looking to establish a presence in southeast Michigan.
  • Macomb Community College Michigan New Jobs Training Program (MNJTP) –  allows community colleges to provide free training for employers that are creating new jobs and/or expanding operations in Michigan.  The training for the newly hired workers is paid by capturing the state income tax associated with the new employees' wages.
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Business Development Program (BDP) – provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that create jobs and/or provide investment and results in a net-positive return to Michigan.
  • Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) I4.0 tech assessment – helps identify technologies that can provide maximum improvements and return on investment.
  • St. Clair/Macomb Michigan Works! programs – On-The-Job-Training program offers an incentive to employers for hiring eligible job seekers and providing them new skills training. OJT provides reimbursement to the employer; up to 50% of the new employee’s wages for a designated period. This reimbursement assists in covering some of the extraordinary costs of providing the training.

Industry partners

  • Michigan Defense Center – if you’re looking to become cyber compliant, the CyberSmart Defense Cybersecurity Grant Program provides Michigan’s small and medium sized defense contractors a comprehensive one-stop shop to federal cybersecurity compliance. It offers up to $22,500 in grant funding to address any deficiencies in IT infrastructure, and become fully compliant with DoD cybersecurity requirements for all contractors.
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) – enhance the national defense strategy and grow Michigan’s economy by assisting Michigan businesses sell their products and services to federal, state and local units of government. Works with businesses to become successful as a defense contractor.

Top companies

  • American Rheinmetall
  • BAE Systems
  • Futuramic Tool & Engineering
  • General Dynamic Land Systems
  • KUKA Systems
  • MB Aerospace
  • Model & Tools, Inc.
  • RCO Engineering
  • Triumph Gear Systems
  • Weldaloy Products

Contact us


To learn more about our free and confidential services.

Curt Chowanic

Senior Economic Developer

Call: 586-469-6284