Key Industries in Battle Creek
Battle Creek and Southwest Michigan are home to many organizations that are recognized, national leaders across these industries. The research, development and day-to-day operations of these industries attract workforce, talent development organizations, and investments in the area. This work and investment only strengthen the resources and talent pool available here in Battle Creek.
Aviation & Defense
The Battle Creek Executive Airport is more than an airport. It is the base for Western Michigan’s School of Aviation, Waco Aircraft Corporation, and Duncan Aviation, which is one of the largest, family-owned maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in the world, providing complete acquisition, sales and nose-to-tail support services for business aircraft. Michigan has 155 direct aerospace manufacturers and suppliers of products and parts, employing over 6,800 people.
The Battle Creek Air National Guard Base is home to the 110th Attack Wing, which hosts three separate missions: Flying Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs), an Air Operations Group and a Cyber Operations Squadron. Fort Custer has a federally owned and state-operating Michigan Army National Guard training facility used primarily for small arms, live fire, and unit maneuver training. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is located in downtown Battle Creek. Its operations include Information Operations and Logistics Information Services. Learn more about the Defense Industry in Battle Creek here.
Automotive/OEM Supply Chain
The automotive industry began in the state of Michigan. And as such, many top-tier automotive suppliers and vendors are located here. These manufacturers are among top employers in the area, and they are also a huge customer base for other local vendors and service providers. As this industry continues to get more sophisticated, our workforce development agencies collaborate with the automotive industry to ensure employees have the skills needed to support them today and in the future. The continued need for industrial designers and engineers continues to fuel this industry’s and our area’s growth.
Food & Beverage
While there is more to Battle Creek than being known as “Cereal City,” our area is home to the headquarters of some of the largest food manufacturers in the country, and even the world. Agriculture is one of the top industries in the state of Michigan, and Battle Creek is a huge part of that. Battle Creek is home to several companies focused on food and beverage product development, research, and safety.
Logistics & Services
Battle Creek’s location makes it a hub for many logistics companies. You are close to many main interstate highways with easy access to larger cities including Chicago, Detroit, Fort Wayne and many more. Hundreds of manufacturing companies are based in our area, and take advantage of the location and access to logistics providers including trucking, rail and of course, air transportation.
Energy Storage includes battery technology for electric and hybrid vehicles as well as utility-scale grid storage solutions. Energy Storage encompasses those companies engaged in: battery material manufacturing (i.e., cathode, anode, and electrolyte); battery manufacturing (lithium-ion, solid-state, micro battery, etc.); charging station manufacturing; fuel cell manufacturing; and other related components.
The Battle Creek region has long been recognized for high-quality manufacturing, especially in the automotive sector. The FCIP has a concentration of automotive manufacturers covering multiple tiers. Battle Creek’s automotive suppliers benefit from a short two-hour drive to Detroit. And while lithium-ion technology in the United States is in its infancy, the gravity of Michigan’s auto-related pull is already clear.