University of Michigan
Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy at the University of Michigan
Law School Angell Hall Hill Auditorium/Burton Tower Michigan Union
Leads the Way
for Business
and Economic

The Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy (IRLEE) at the University of Michigan was established in July 2008 as a new entity, merging two longstanding university units, the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations (ILIR) and the Business and Industrial Assistance Division (BIAD). The new Institute has as its mandate to form a coherent conceptual framework, incorporating:

  • basic knowledge about the economy;
  • the impacts of economic trends on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities;
  • wide-ranging economic program interventions for communities in distress to stimulate economic development; and
  • evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions in improving economic competitiveness, in ameliorating problems associated with economic restructuring and transformation, and in contributing to innovative economic development policy.

Research Publications

The research tradition established at ILIR and BIAD continues at IRLEE. The Publications website contains an interactive list of journal articles, research reports, and economic forecasts by current and former IRLEE research staff members.

Center for Business Acceleration and Incubation Studies

The Center for Business Acceleration and Incubation Studies (CBAIS) helps achieve objectives such as economic development and diversification through the establishment and promotion of business incubators. CBAIS undertakes regional studies to determine how to best accelerate economic growth and recovery.

Business incubators are facilities that provide support and guidance to local small businesses and entrepreneurs. These incubators help new businesses grow and mature into successful ventures.

Professional service providers play a significant role in the success of business incubators by providing support and expertise on various areas such as legal services, accounting, finance, and insurance, among others.

Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program

The Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP) proposed by the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy (IRLEE) at the University of Michigan is designed to support defense manufacturing firms in the face of Department of Defense fiscal downsizing. 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.

DMAP is in a fact-finding stage. We are currently gathering information and assessing interest in the program.

First Customer Program

The First Customer Program (FCP) assists companies with identifying first customers, gaining introductions, and closing deals. FCP is focused on start-up tech companies that need both preparation for and introduction to first customers. While focusing on start-ups, FCP also assists established companies that are facing start-up challenges as they diversify into new markets.

Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center

The Great Lakes TAAC assists companies that have been negatively impacted by imports to improve their global competitiveness and long-term viability. It administers the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

Labor and Global Change

The Labor and Global Change program addresses the effects of economic “globalization” on workers, unions, and societies. It explores how public policy, business programs, and worker organizations can increase the human benefits and reduce the social costs of national and global economic restructuring.

Center for Labor Market Research

The Center for Labor Market Research has two main research focus areas. One is regional economic forecasting, estimating employment and unemployment for areas smaller than a state, such as counties and metropolitan areas, as well as for multi-state regions. The Center’s other primary focus is research-based policy analysis, such as answering “what if” questions about how a region’s economy would be affected by, for instance, a change in government policy, or a plant closing.

National Excess Manufacturing Capacity Catalog

The National Excess Manufacturing Capacity Catalog (NEXCAP) promotes business expansion and innovation, regional economic development, and job growth by matching companies looking to relocate, expand, or diversify with the vacant manufacturing sites/facilities.

Technology and Commercialization Assistance

The Technology and Commercialization Assistance (TCA) program identifies the capabilities and initiatives of existing companies and matches them with university technologies resident in Michigan universities.

Detroit Chene Street History Project

The Detroit Chene Street History Project documents one of the city’s critical commercial and residential corridors from 1890 to 1990. It incorporates oral histories, photographs and other images, documents, film and audio recordings, as well as historical data collected since the project began in 2002. An interactive website maps Chene Street and its arterial neighborhoods, chronicling its ethnically and religiously diverse residents, businesses, and institutions. While the Chene Street neighborhoods have largely been bulldozed or reverted to prairie, this project offers a window into the development and devastation of this significant area on Detroit’s east side through both historical records created by its social, cultural, and religious institutions and the lived experiences of its residents and business owners. The Project is a collaboration with the U-M Frankel Center for Judaic Studies.

Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy
506 E Liberty Street, 3rd Floor
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2210

Phone: 734-998-6201
Fax: 734-998-6202

Contact Information:
Marian Krzyzowski Director 734-998-6236
Lawrence Molnar Associate Director 734-998-6239
Niki Vick Business Admin­istrator 734-998-8050
Annmarie Thomas Admin­istrative Specialist 734-998-6614
Kimberly Reid Admin­istrative Assistant 734-998-6231