Michigan's mold builders and tool and die companies have formed a new trade association to raise their profile in the state.
The Coalition for the Advancement of Michigan Tooling Industries, which announced its formation April 23, said the industry has 50,000 workers in about 1,600 tooling companies in Michigan, the most of any state. But too often, it is an industry that does not make its presence felt, CAMTI officials said.
``When it comes to Michigan tooling industry and small-business issues, our voice should be much louder,'' said Rob Olsen, who is manufacturing manager at Model Die and Mold Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich., and a board member. Olsen also is president of the West Michigan chapter of the American Mold Builders Association.
CAMTI's dues are $250 for the first year; however, the group probably will put in a graduated dues structure next year based on sales or employees, said Sanford Ring, CAMTI counsel and a lawyer in the Washington office of Dykema Gossett PLLC. CAMTI is headquartered in Dykema's Lansing office.
Olsen said he wants CAMTI to focus on Michigan issues, such as tax credits for training or purchasing new equipment. Ring said the group also could get involved with the federal government's investigation of tooling trade issues and legislation on trade assistance.
Founding members include Paragon Die & Engineering Co. in Grand Rapids, D-M-E Co. of Madison Heights, Mich., the Center for Automotive Research, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and economic development organizations in Grand Rapids and Genesee County.