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Posted on Mon, May 10, 2010 : 2:42 p.m.

University of Michigan to host conference on reversing U.S. manufacturing declines

By Nathan Bomey

National business leaders, political officials and engineers will gather Thursday at the University of Michigan to discuss strategies for reversing the contraction in America’s manufacturing sector.

The one-day conference is organized by the National Academy of Engineering, which aims to assemble a list of potential solutions by this fall.

Lawrence Burns, who formerly led General Motors’ research-and development efforts, and former Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Charles Vest are among the speakers.

U-M mechanical engineering professor Sridhar Kota, assistant director for advanced manufacturing at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and U-M Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest will also speak.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at Stamps Auditorium in the Walgreen Drama Center, which is located on the university’s North Campus. Here's registration information.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Tue, May 11, 2010 : 12:45 p.m.

Not gonna happen. Unskilled labor is a global commodity and the US regulations and taxation is not favorable to foster capital formation. The liberal elite will pontificate and blame Booosh at the end of the day.


Mon, May 10, 2010 : 8:34 p.m.

That's mighty odd for UM to try to bring back manufacturing. It was the UM economists that said back in 2004 Michigan couldn't afford low skill, low pay manufacturing jobs - and the sooner they left the state the sooner we could shift to high paying financial, technology, and healthcare jobs. Jobs Michigan needs to compete in the 21st Century. And the Ann Arbor News ran three inch headlines saying how great the concept was - the governor was thrilled with it, too. Rick Haglund had the byline, I disagreed completely then, and I doubt UM has changed its tune - except they now see money for consultation and self-serving. Ann Arbor News did a story on me back in early '92, and scoffed at my manufacturing technology efforts from the early '80s. The UM now says those kinds of things are critical to Michigan. As usual, UM is two decades too late, but reaping big cash rewards for having been asleep at the switch. And now they want to crush the last vestige of life in manufacturing by absorbing it into UM's sphere - ITI/MMTC have done. ITI/MMTC have been a drain on Michigan for 30 years, and they have done nothing but destroy initiatives for companies that can't compete with taxpayer funded do-nothings. Expect more of the same from UM.