Michigan, Ohio and Indiana have lost more than 6,800 defense supply-chain positions in recent years—cuts spurred largely by the ending of two foreign wars and the current federal fiscal environment.

Based on a successful pilot project, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment has awarded $8 million to U-M’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy to assist communities and companies in the three states that have been impacted by these job losses.

“When communities are faced with the type of sudden and severe economic dislocation that can result from a defense plant closure or a mass layoff, it is necessary but often difficult to create an effective community response,” said Lawrence Molnar, IRLEE associate director and the project’s principal investigator.

“Our community-based scope of work combines assistance from both the public and private sectors in communities and regions experiencing or anticipating adverse impacts of defense downsizing.”

U-M and its partner institutions have already designed and started to implement strategic programs tailored to more than 40 companies and seven communities.

Featured in the University Record, June 29, 2016

By Alex Piazza, Office of Research