University of Michigan
Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy at the University of Michigan

Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program

As the Department of Defense begins the process of downsizing fiscally and physically, it is certain that there will be a corresponding reduction in the number and size of current and future defense contracts awarded to private sector manufacturing firms. Local and regional economies will be impacted and national security could be threatened as decreased or cancelled contracts lead to a reduction in workforce and instability in companies that are critical to the defense-manufacturing sector.

Through several manufacturing assistance programs, the University of Michigan has extensive and highly successful experience working with small and medium sized manufacturing firms in the region. By providing assistance to help identity projects that address critical needs and areas of improvement, the programs have resulted in stability, growth, job creation, and job retention in the manufacturing sector.

A program of assistance will be vital to support companies in the defense sector. The Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy (IRLEE) at the University of Michigan proposes the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP) to address this need. DMAP is designed to provide technical assistance to defense manufacturers that includes both a strategic and implementation plan. The goal of DMAP is to help maintain individual firm’s manufacturing capability and capacity through customized planning and co-funded core-strengthening and diversification projects leading to survival, stabilization, and potential growth.

After several meetings with the Department of Defense, IRLEE has established that the DMAP aligns with the goal of the Department of Defense to maintain and retain the critical manufacturing infrastructure, capacity, and capabilities to meet national security priorities. DMAP is in a pre-implementation phase during which we are gathering information about critical needs in the defense industry and assessing demand for different elements of the program.

Contact Information:
Lawrence Molnar Associate Director kallen@umich.edu 734-998-6239