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Granholm Announces Companies Investing Over $247 Million, Creating More Than 11,000 New Jobs in Michigan

Contact: Bridget Beckman 517-335-4590
Agency: Economic Development Corp.

June 16, 2009
 
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Michigan's aggressive strategy to diversify the economy and attract investment to Michigan has resulted in 15 job-creating projects, which will generate more than 11,125 new jobs, retain another 846 and bring more than $247 million in new investment to communities across the state.
 
The projects span the upper and lower peninsulas and include aerospace, automotive and wind-turbine manufacturers; one of the nation's largest insurance management service companies; and brownfield redevelopments that will transform abandoned and contaminated sites into new centers of economic growth and activity.
         
 "We are making significant progress toward diversifying Michigan's economy despite a national recession," Granholm said.  "The expansions announced today demonstrate that businesses across a wide spectrum of sectors are choosing Michigan over other states for new growth opportunities.  These are the types of projects that will transform our economy and create good-paying jobs for our workers."
 
Project details include:
 
Alma Products I - The 65-year-old subsidiary of ETX, Inc. is a manufacturer and remanufacturer of air conditioning compressors, torque converters, clutch & disc assemblies and transmissions plans to invest $1.9 million to relocate the remanufactured transmission operation of ETX Transmissions Inc. from Mundelein, Illinois to Alma.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) estimates that increased economic activity created by the facility will create 158 new jobs, including 76 directly by the company.  The MEDC estimates increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 82 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board today approved a state tax credit valued at $937,196 over seven years to help convince the company to locate in Michigan over competing sites in Texas and Illinois.  The city of Alma is considering an abatement in support of the project. http://almaproductscompany.web.officelive.com/default.aspx
 
Farmers Group Inc. - The insurance management services provider plans to invest $84.4 million to expand their operating capabilities on the grounds of their existing Caledonia location. The expansion includes a print and distribution center, call center growth space and a training facility, which is an expansion of the University of Farmers Grand Rapids, to provide training for approximately 5,000 employees and company agents each year. The project is expected to create 2,727 new jobs, including 1,600 directly by the company.  The  MEDC estimates increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 1,127 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $62.5 million to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in other states.  In addition, the MEDC has offered an employee training grant of up to $335,000 through the economic development job training program. Caledonia Township is considering an abatement to support the project. http://www.farmers.com/index.html
 
Holland Awning Company, d/b/a Integrated Fabric Resource - The custom designer and manufacturer of fabric-based packaging products servicing the auto industry plans to invest $3.7 million to expand in Holland Charter Township to produce flexi-tanks for shipping bulk liquids.  The project is expected to create 510 new jobs, including 270 directly by the company.  The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 240 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $2.1 million over seven years to encourage the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in China.  To support the project, Holland Charter Township is considering an abatement.  http://www.ifrinc.com/ 
 
Johnson Technology Inc. - The aerospace manufacturer and producer of jet engine components for military and commercial operations plans to invest $15 million to bring work to its Muskegon plant from competitors in five states to develop a new high-tech plasma coating spray for use in aircraft engines.  The project is expected to create 167 new jobs, including 74 directly by the company.  The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project could also create an additional 93 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $2 million over 12 years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Indiana.  The city of Muskegon is considering an abatement to support the project.
 
Roskam Baking Company - The supplier of croutons, cereal, snack mixes and dry-mix products for major food companies plans to invest $60.5 million to add new lines at its Kentwood facility to make products for independent businesses.  The project is expected to create 3,168 new jobs, including 1,500 directly by the company.  The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 1,668 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $20.1 million over 10 years.  The city of Kentwood is considering an abatement to support the project.
 
Axiobionics LLC - The developer and marketer of new and innovative medical devices for pain control and neuro rehabilitation in patients with brain and spinal cord injuries is investing $2.9 million to design custom-made electrical stimulation technology and orthotic and prosthetic devices in Scio Township.  The project is expected to create 614 jobs, including 108 directly by the company. The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 506 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $1.4 million over seven years to help win the project for Michigan over competing sites in Arizona, Washington, North Carolina and Ohio.  Scio Township is considering an abatement to support the project.  http://axiobionics.com/
 
Dexter Research Center - The Dexter-based designer and manufacturer of infrared sensors for automotive, medical, aerospace and security applications is investing $2.9 million to upgrade its operations and expand into new markets.  The project is expected to create 169 jobs, including 47 directly by the company.  The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 122 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at approximately $313,428 over seven years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in Ohio and Massachusetts.  Webster Township will consider a tax abatement to support the project.  http://www.dexterresearch.com/
 
Energetx Composites LLC - The manufacturer of composite components plans to invest $37 million to ramp up production in Holland of utility-scale wind turbine blades and other composite parts for the wind energy industry.  The project will create 2,599 total jobs, including 1,068 directly by the company.  The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 1,531 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $27.3 million to encourage the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in other states.  The city of Holland is considering an abatement to support the project. http://www.energetxcomposites.com/
 
RS Technologies Acquisition Corp.  - The subsidiary of New York-based PCB Piezotronics, a high-tech manufacturing company, plans to invest $1.7 million to expand in order to provide a complete line of threaded fastener torque-tension systems at its operations in Farmington Hills.  The project will create 228 total jobs, including 40 jobs directly by the company.  The MEDC estimates the increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 188 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at approximately $428,518 over seven years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in New York.  The city of Farmington Hills is considering an abatement in support of the project. http://www.rstechltd.com/
 
CertainTeed Ceilings Corporation - The manufacturer and global distributor of acoustical ceiling systems plans to invest $7.6 million to consolidate operations from Mississippi to its facility in L'Anse.  The project will retain 271 Michigan jobs, including 109 directly at the company.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $3.1 million over 12 years to encourage the company to invest in Michigan.  http://www.certainteed.com/
 
Ralco Industries Inc. - The supplier of welded assemblies, metal stampings, design prototype and tooling for the automotive industry plans to invest $6.4 million to expand to a larger facility in Pontiac, which will serve as the company's North American corporate and manufacturing headquarters.  The project will create 375 total jobs, including 108 directly by the company.  The project will also retain 50 jobs.  The MEDC estimates that increased economic activity created by the project will create an additional 267 indirect jobs.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $1.6 million over seven years to encourage the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Tennessee.  Pontiac is considering a tax abatement to support the project. http://www.ralcoind.com/
 
Webasto Roof Systems Inc. - The largest North American supplier of sunroof and panorama roof systems plans to invest $3.6 million to consolidate operations in Rochester Hills.  The project will create 208 Michigan jobs, including 61 directly by the company and retain 525 jobs, including 153 at the company.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved two seven-year state tax credits valued at $616,630 (for new jobs) and $1.08 million (for retained jobs) respectively to encourage the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in another state.  The city of Rochester Hills is considering a tax abatement to support the project.  http://www.webasto.us/home/en/homepage.html
 
City of Bay City - State and local tax capture valued at $341,179 will support the redevelopment of a vacant site in downtown Bay City.  The developer will build a 7,900 square-foot office building that will house the Social Security Administration.  The project will generate $1.85 million in new capital investment and is expected to create up to 30 new jobs.
 
City of Holland - State and local tax capture valued at $1.8 million will support the redevelopment of several sites on Lake Macatawa.  The project will include the construction of 27 new residential town homes and a private marina.  The project will generate $10 million in new capital investment and is expected to create up to 12 new jobs.
 
Fab Masters Company Inc. - Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a Defense MBT tax credit to encourage the manufacturer of custom aluminum machined and fabricated parts for the defense, transportation and appliance industries to expand in Marcellus over competing sites in Nebraska, Tennessee and Ohio. The project is expected to generate $8.4 million in private investment and create up to 160 new jobs.  http://www.fabmasters.net/
 
"The state's talented workforce and competitive business climate help make the case that Michigan is a great place for companies to invest and grow," MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said.  "Those factors, in combination with the state and local economic development tools that are part of our aggressive economic strategy, help ensure their growth well into the future."
 
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.  For more information on the MEDC's initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.TheMEDC.org
        
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