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Gov. Whitmer announces transportation economic development grant that will support 35 new jobs in the city of Albion
November 25, 2019 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has awarded a state transportation economic development fund grant that will support 35 new jobs in the city of Albion, Calhoun County. The Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant totaling $340,000 will leverage more than $35,000,000 in private investment, at a private/public investment ratio of nearly 103-to-1.
Knauf Insulation Inc., a manufacturer of insulation products for residential, commercial and industrial users, is located on Clark Street in Albion. At this location, Knauf currently produces 157,000,000 pounds of fiberglass insulation products per year and currently employs 149 people. In order to meet growing demand, the company plans to convert and restart an idled production line. The company decided to expand in Albion instead of competing sites in Indiana and Alabama. Access routes at the current location, however, are in poor condition and are not built to all-season standards. This grant will allow the City of Albion and the Calhoun County Road Department to reconstruct North Clark/29 Mile Road between East North Street and B Drive North.
"I was proud to work with Knauf Insulation and our local partners to support the transportation components of this company's expansion," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "When we make real investments in our infrastructure, we can attract more businesses and talent to our state and grow our economy. This has been a crucial step toward achieving that goal, but there is still work to do. We must invest more into our roads so everyone can drive to work safely and so companies have unimpeded access to markets."
"Through the support of MDOT and the City of Albion, improvements to the roadways near Knauf's Albion facility will enable the increased traffic flow to and from the facility to be able to operate safely and efficiently," said Kevin Keen, Albion plant manager.
In line with the company's focus on sustainability, the process technology associated with this expansion will utilize post-consumer bottle glass recovered through the State of Michigan’s Bottle Deposit Law. Millions of bottles are diverted from landfills to be utilized in the manufacturing of Knauf Insulation products, which go on to save energy for the next 100 years in energy-efficient homes and buildings in Michigan and across the country.
"Our dedication to the world we live in is genuine and the Albion plant renovation is a true demonstration of that commitment," said Matt Parrish, CEO of Knauf Insulation. "From reducing our own carbon footprint and sourcing renewable, abundant resources for our energy-saving insulation, to encouraging our employees to make a difference in their local communities, our commitment is ever present and something that we are extremely proud of."
The overall cost of this project is $650,000, including $340,000 in TEDF Category A funding, $244,590 from the City of Albion, and $65,410 from the Calhoun County Road Department.
Enacted in 1987 and reauthorized in 1993, the TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers.
TEDF "Category A" or "Targeted Industries Program" grants provide state funding for public roadway improvements that allow road agencies to respond quickly to the transportation needs of expanding companies and eliminate inadequate roadways as an obstacle to private investment and job creation. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities and villages. More information about the program is available online at www.Michigan.gov/TEDF.