Approximately 65% of all the defense work produced by the State of Michigan is done in Sterling Heights and the surrounding Macomb area. With over 6,000 defense contractors and 404 defense establishments in the county, the region has produced over $26 billion of defense contracts between 2000 and 2010. Major defense employers located in the area include General Dynamics Land Systems, BAE Systems, Science Applications International Corporation, DRS Technologies, Navistar Defense, Oshkosh, and Lockheed Martin. In addition, Sterling Heights is in close proximity to the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), which are both located in the adjacent city of Warren.
Sterling Heights is home to four OEM vehicle productions plants: the Fiat-Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, the Fiat-Chrysler Stamping Plant, the Ford Van Dyke Transmission Plant, and the Ford Axle Plant. In addition, over 76,000 automotive, engineering and design, technicians and skilled trades professionals work in the Sterling Heights and Macomb County area. The automotive and manufacturing industries continue to be a cornerstone of the city’s local, regional, and statewide economy.