State OK's Aid For Projects Totaling $281M, 1,400 Jobs

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a new $50 million skilled trades equipment program for community colleges along with economic development and community revitalization projects that will generate more than $281.6 million in new capital investment and create 1,437 jobs in Michigan.

The new Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program will make $50 million available to Michigan community colleges to buy equipment to allow the colleges to deliver educational programs in high-wage, high- and middle-skill, and high-demand occupations.

Community colleges can request up to $4.8 million in CCSTEP funds. The Request for Proposals will be released in November and applications will be due by Jan. 31, 2015. Awards will be announced in February 2015.

Also approved were these Michigan Business Development Program incentives:

* Autosystems America Inc. is a subsidiary of Magna International, Inc., a Canadian auto supplier and does business as Magna Lighting. It has a new contract to supply automotive lighting components and systems. This contract will require a new manufacturing plant and the consolidation of the company’s engineering, R&D, sales and marketing, as well as a new headquarters, into one location in Plymouth Township. The company will invest up to $59.2 million and create 466 jobs, resulting in a $3 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over several competing sites. Plymouth Township is offering support to the project in the form of expedited approval of development plans. Individuals interested in careers with Magna should visit www.magna.com/careers.

* Magna Exteriors and Interiors USA Inc. is also a subsidiary of Magna International Inc. The company plans to establish a new facility in Eaton County’s Windsor Township for assembly and sequencing of interior doors, floor consoles, and production of instrument panel components. The project will generate a total capital investment of $57 million and create 281 jobs, resulting in a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over several competing sites. Windsor Township has offered support to the project in the form of property tax abatement. For information on careers with Magna, visit www.magna.com/careers.

* Mobis North America, established in 2005 and headquartered in Toledo, manufactures Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep chassis systems. Mobis is at capacity in its facility in Farmington Hills and plans to purchase a larger building in Plymouth Township to allow for growth in R&D, engineering and sales operations. The current location not only specializes in vehicle headlamps but in the areas of multimedia (Bluetooth, telematics, system validation), steering, brake, autonomous vehicle, electric vehicle charging and many more. The project will generate a total investment of nearly $26.6 million and create 121 jobs, resulting in a $1.25 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over the company’s headquarters facility in Toledo. Plymouth Township is offering support to the project in the form of property tax abatement.

* Shiloh Industries supplies lightweighting and noise, vibration and harshness products to the automotive and commercial vehicle markets. Shiloh and its subsidiary, Greenfield Die & Manufacturing Corp., plan to establish a new sales and technical center in Plymouth Township, and expand its manufacturing operations in Canton Township, investing up to $48 million and creating 128 jobs. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia. As a result, the company has been awarded a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Canton Township is offering support to the project in the form of property tax abatement. Individuals interested in careers with Shiloh should visit Shiloh.com.

* Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting Inc. develops, sells and supports accounting and tax software for the public accounting market. The company has outgrown its current offices in the Ann Arbor area and plans to expand operations in Pittsfield Charter Township, investing more than $19.8 million and adding 300 new jobs. As a result, the project has been awarded a $2.4 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Texas. Ann Arbor Spark provided assistance to the company in securing incentives from MEDC and Pittsfield Charter Township will consider offering support to the project in the form of property tax abatement. Individuals interested in careers with Thomson Reuters should visit http://careers.thomsonreuters.com/. Also, the Michigan Department of Transportation is currently reviewing an application for a Transportation Economic Development Fund grant to make local roadway repairs necessary for the Thomson Reuters project.

Community revitalization projects:

* 250 West Larned LLC plans to convert the former Detroit Fire Department headquarters and an adjacent building into a modern, luxury 100-room boutique hotel with a first floor restaurant and retail space on West Larned in Detroit. The project will include a historic renovation of the property, highlighting the interior design and architecture of the building. The project will generate nearly $28.9 million in total capital investment and create 97 full-time jobs, resulting in a $5.84 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based equity investment.

* 20 Fulton Street East LLC – The Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority will use local and school tax capture in the amount of $6,177,565 for the redevelopment of property located at 20 E Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. The finished project will consist of a new 12-story, income-restricted and market-rate residential development with retail space on the ground floor. The project is expected to generate approximately $42 million in total capital investment and create 44 full-time jobs.

Also, the Community Development Block Grant Deep Freeze Fund, approved by MSF in July to provide grants to Michigan communities impacted by the extreme cold last winter, was increased from $6 million to $7.6 million in order to assist all eligible communities.

The MSF also approved an amendment to the program guidelines for the Michigan Supplier Diversification Fund and Michigan Business Growth Fund that will permit the two loan programs under the funds to better respond to businesses affected by natural disasters, such as the recent flooding in the Detroit area.

Also, the Young Men’s Christian Association of Lansing received MSF approval of a grant amendment for the refinancing of a prior private activity bond.

MSF also approved a grant amendment in the amount of $2,076,500 to the Michigan Small Business Development Center to continue funding matching funds for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Research federal funds.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 89,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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