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Discover Manufacturing’s roots extend to the Right Place Manufacturers Council and their workforce development work group. The Manufacturers Council has focused on sharing best practices among manufacturers since the early 1990’s with the goal of maintaining West Michigan’s leadership in advanced manufacturing practices. The work group, with its enthusiastic volunteer members, was able to accomplish a number of achievements including:

  • white papers related to the talent needs of manufacturers that made their way to Lansing and Washington.

  • student plant tours, job shadows and internships.

  • curriculum development and credentials aligned with manufacturers’ needs.

  • the Discover Manufacturing Video Challenge competition to promote careers in manufacturing.

With the passage of the 2015 federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and heightened awareness of  manufacturers’ talent needs by state and federal leadership, West Michigan Works! joined forces with the Manufacturers Council to found Discover Manufacturing.


In the years since, Discover Manufacturing has been instrumental in the success of MiCareerQuest and expanding MFG Week to more students, employers and communities. Working with educational partners, Discover Manufacturing has assisted in the success of the Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing and the creation of the Mobile Manufacturing Lab with Grand Rapids Community College.

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