Mi Design & Manufacturing Alliance
The Design and Manufacturing Alliance has been in existence for nearly 30 years. It was originally established in the late 80s at Macomb Community College with strong support from General Motors and its suppliers. It began as "Project Draft" and the name was later changed to "Project Design". It's purpose was to bring educators and designers together to establish more relevant and better articulated design curriculum (at both the high school and community college levels) that would better prepare students for positions within design. At the time, the industry had significant shortage of skilled designers and the average age of those working in the field was 55 years old.
The goal of the DMA continues to be to encourage industry/education dialogue and networking. This enables educators to provide students with accurate career information both about employment opportunities and the skills that these occupations will require. It also enables industry representatives and educators to work together to develop appropriate and articulated curricula and programs across all levels of education. This will ensure a globally competitive Design and Manufacturing workforce in Southeast Michigan.
Since 2001 DMA has sponsored, with a participating host community college or university, two conferences annually. They provide forums for industry/educator/government networking, and assist educators to better understand what is happening in industry. These conferences are one of the few opportunities for educators from all levels to interface with industry representatives and their peers. Conferences usually attract 100-120 participants representing local school districts, community colleges and universities as well as representatives from local associations, agencies and companies. The education participants are predominantly instructors, but also include career development specialists, counselors and administrators.