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Gov. Whitmer Announces Approval of Multiple Projects Creating Over 390 Good-Paying Jobs and Economic Opportunities


February 22, 2022 



Gov. Whitmer Announces Approval of Multiple Projects Creating Over 390 Good-Paying Jobs and Economic Opportunities


LANSING, Mich.?- Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation today in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a wide range of projects, including support for Ford's transformational Michigan Central Innovation District, an initiative aimed at increasing high-speed internet access across Michigan, business expansions including a new joint venture between Magna and LAN Manufacturing that will bring 390 jobs to Detroit, and other actions that will continue strengthening Michigan's economy.  


"Today's Michigan Strategic Fund approvals will help us continue to drive economic growth in Michigan by expanding on our leadership in the future of mobility and electric vehicles, investing in our communities, creating hundreds of jobs for our residents, and furthering initiatives that will ensure long-term economic opportunity throughout the state," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  "These actions demonstrate our ongoing laser focus on growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and putting Michiganders first." 



Support for Michigan Central Innovation District positions Michigan as hub for global technology, future mobility 


The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) today approved $7.5 million in funding to Ford Motor Co. to support new programs that accelerate economic development, new technology activation, workforce training, and community engagement in the 30-acre Michigan Central Innovation District in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood. The grant will have a three-year term and the ability to allocate additional funds in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 if agreed-upon grant milestones are met, including a requirement that it create at least 2,500 non-Ford jobs within the district. 


Anchored at the Michigan Central Train Station, which Ford originally announced support for in 2018, the district will be a state-of-the-art facility that will serve as a globally-recognized hub for talent, mobility innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, affordable housing, small business opportunities and community engagement.  


Earlier this month, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Google Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to announce a new partnership to activate the Michigan Central Innovation District in an effort to attract and retain highly skilled talent and high-growth companies while supporting the development of neighboring neighborhoods.? 


Today's MSF grant will support initiatives that help to activate the district by creating the right conditions for high-skill, high-wage job creation, workforce development, startup growth, and next-generation mobility and electrification leadership. 


With today's MSF grant, the district will be bolstered by a comprehensive cross-departmental collaboration that includes aligning more than $126 million in state resources and support, including the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, the MEDC, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. 


Google is also joining Ford as a Founding Member of the district, where it will leverage the assets of the district to collaborate on new products and services that will define the future of mobility. As founding members, Google and Ford will also help mentor entrepreneurs and local businesses, as well as develop the workforce in Detroit. 


Since 2018, Ford has been in the process of investing $740 million in the 1.2-million-square-foot campus, which is expected to hold 5,000 Ford and non-Ford workers. 


Funding for broadband project will help increase access to high-speed internet for all Michiganders 


The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved up to $5.2 million from federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) funds to Connected Nation Michigan for the Broadband Infrastructure Audit and Validation project. 


The COVID-19 pandemic exposed that access to high-speed internet connectivity is lacking in many parts of the state - especially for Michigan's most vulnerable populations, who need access to telework opportunities, telehealth services, and online education opportunities now more than ever. 


This project is expected to allow state and community leaders, along with internet service providers, to make informed decisions regarding efficient expansion of high-speed internet service throughout the state and better target its grant funding in a way that will result in productive high-speed internet expansion across Michigan. 


More details on this initiative will be provided later this week. 


Three business expansion projects will bring growth, job opportunities to Southeast Michigan 


LM Manufacturing is a joint venture between auto supplier Magna and LAN Manufacturing Group, LLC. The company will provide manufacturing, assembly, sequencing, supply chain and logistics management for complete seat assemblies and other modular assemblies for the auto and related industries. 


LM Manufacturing plans to begin manufacturing seating assemblies for Ford and will locate the manufacturing, assembly, sequencing, supply chain and logistics management in an existing facility in Detroit. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $18.1 million and create 390 jobs, supported by a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other locations. 


The project contributes to the MEDC's ongoing efforts to strengthen Michigan's leadership in automotive manufacturing. The project will bring good jobs to area residents and has the potential to lead to future growth and investment in Michigan.? 


"We are excited about this opportunity with LM Manufacturing as we continue supporting Ford on some of their high-volume vehicle programs," said Magna Seating President John Wyskiel. "We expect the joint venture to complement the seating capabilities and footprint we already have in the state." 


The city of Detroit anticipates approval of a property tax abatement in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with LM Manufacturing should visit 


"The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is pleased to support a project that will bring nearly 400 well-paying jobs to Detroiters and reactivate a large format industrial campus in Southwest Detroit," said Kenyetta Bridges, Executive Vice President, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. "This project further demonstrates the City's strengths and advantages to support manufacturing, and we are thrilled that LM Manufacturing - a joint venture between an international automotive supplier and a Detroit-based minority supplier - chose Detroit as its home base. DEGC looks forward to our continued work with LM Manufacturing as this project comes to fruition." 


Real estate developer Bedrock today announced its support for LM Manufacturing's project by leasing space in its former Sakthi Industrial Campus to develop the plant. In doing so, Bedrock is providing 296,000 square feet of manufacturing space in the Delray neighborhood, just five miles west of Detroit's city center.  


"Bedrock is best known for our transformational investments in the heart of the city, but we are committed to connecting and amplifying economic development efforts across all of Detroit - and in this case, by placing permanent and well-paying job opportunities where they are needed most," said Kofi Bonner, CEO of Bedrock. "Partnering with LM Manufacturing is a game changer for the Delray area and a chance to transform the once vacant site into a beacon of opportunity and sustainability." 


Dana Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dana Incorporated headquartered in Maumee, OH. The company is a global supplier of fully integrated drivetrain and electrified propulsion systems for all passenger vehicles, serving primarily automotive OEMs that manufacture light vehicles, off-highway vehicles and commercial vehicles.  


Dana continues to experience significant growth in electrification and plans to establish a new Electric Vehicle technology center in the city of Novi, where it will house electrification R&D and engineering. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $9 million and create up to 150 high-wage jobs, supported by a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in North America and Europe.  


By securing this project in Novi, Michigan continues to underscore its position as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification. This project will solidify Dana's presence and future investment in the state, and puts Michigan in a strong position for future growth opportunities in the ever-evolving transportation industry.  


Individuals interested in careers with Dana should visit  


"Dana Incorporated has a long history of driving innovation in the Detroit Region and continues to be a globally recognized leader in vehicle electrification," said Maureen Donohue Krauss, CEO and president of the Detroit Regional Partnership. "We are excited about this latest investment and expansion as it reinforces a simple fact - to be on the cutting-edge of next-generation mobility, companies must have a presence in the Detroit Region."  


The Michigan International Technology Center Redevelopment Authority (MITC) plans to support the construction of a new, 65,952-square-foot commercial flex space development in the townships of Plymouth and Northville at the site of the former Detroit House of Corrections. The building will be constructed by Hillside Ridge Road Holdings East, LLC while the MITC is overseeing infrastructure improvements as part of a larger development area. Significant infrastructure improvements are being undertaken, including a stormwater detention pond, sidewalks, curbs, paving and landscaping, that will support this project and attract future investment. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $38.7 million, and when the facility is fully leased, it is expected to have the potential to support efforts that could employ up to 300 full-time equivalent office and R&D jobs. 


The MITC today received MSF approval of $15.6 million in state tax capture for the alleviation of brownfield conditions at the site, making it suitable for redevelopment. Local support for the project includes approval of the local portion of the brownfield work plan valued at $13.8 million and potentially a future Industrial Facilities Tax abatement. Both the townships of Plymouth and Northville are engaged with MEDC's Redevelopment Ready Communities program. 


The project will transform an underutilized property into functional, available space critical for ongoing business attraction and expansion efforts in the region. Completion of the project will also bring additional investment, increased worker traffic, and tax revenue to the neighborhood, city, and local businesses. Market analysis has repeatedly shown that large move-in ready sites are in high demand in metro Detroit.?Supporting this type of property remains critical to retaining existing companies in the state as they grow and offers opportunities to attract new companies here to Michigan. 


The Michigan Strategic Fund supports the acceleration of high-tech innovation in the state 


The MSF Board also approved various amendments and funding allocations to support the continued growth and impact of Michigan's entrepreneurial university programs, including: 


  • SPARK MI STEM internship program - Originally approved in March 2021, the program is a partnership between MEDC and Ann Arbor SPARK aimed at retaining Michigan's STEM college graduates in the state to address the unmet need for tech talent. The program helps  to place STEM students currently attending Michigan colleges annually into STEM-focused internships throughout Michigan. In less than 12 months, the program has already placed 159 interns into positions with high-tech companies across the state. The MSF today approved an additional $1 million in funding to continue building on the success and impact of the program. 
  • Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Ag Bio Innovation Hub -The MSF today allocated $328,975 from the MTRAC program in additional funding for the Michigan State University MTRAC Ag Bio Innovation Hub, which focuses on commercializing technologies related to food, fuel and fiber, including bio-derived and bio-based materials, natural resources and animal health. Between January 2017 and September 2021, the MTRAC Ag Bio Innovation Hub has helped form six startups and funded 67 projects leading to more than $91 million in follow-on funding.  
  • Business Incubator Program/Gateway Representative - Since 2009, the Michigan Strategic Fund has provided funding to business incubators in Michigan to stimulate the creation and continued growth of technology-based businesses and jobs. The Business Incubator Grant is designed to support the SmartZones across Michigan, by dedicating individual Gateway Representatives at each organization that are responsible for managing all client services at each SmartZone. Today, the MSF approved a total of $1.9 million in additional funding to support these Gateway Representatives at Michigan's 19 SmartZone organizations. 


Community vitality project to bring needed housing to village of Merrill 


The 235 W. Saginaw Street Redevelopment Project will redevelop the vacant, former Merrill High School building in the village of Merrill into a multifamily housing development. When completed, the development will consist of 17 market-rate residential rental units, 11 of which will be ADA compliant, and a parking garage.  


The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $4 million and will revitalize an obsolete building into much-needed housing, while also adding vibrancy, density and walkability to downtown Merrill, which hasn't seen significant investment in many years. The project is also expected to serve as a catalyst for future revitalization in the community. 


The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved a Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan participation of $1.9 million. In addition, the Saginaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of state tax capture valued at $130,060 to reimburse for brownfield remediation activities. 


The village of Merrill has approved a nine-year Commercial Rehabilitation Act property tax abatement valued at $338,902 in support of the project, as well as the local portion of the tax capture valued at $47,566. The village of Merrill is engaged with MEDC's?Redevelopment Ready Communities program


"The projects approved today are proof of Team Michigan's commitment to taking a people-first approach to economic development in the state. From building on our leadership in EV and mobility innovation resulting in more good jobs in Southeast Michigan, to supporting affordable housing, entrepreneurial opportunities and increasing access to high-speed internet across Michigan - we remain laser-focused on ensuring every Michigander feels the impact of economic opportunity in their daily lives," said Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO and Michigan Strategic Fund President and Chair Quentin Messer Jr. "Today's MSF actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to ensuring we are creating upward economic mobility for our 10 million plus friends and neighbors across our great state." 


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state's marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan's economy.?For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit? Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at? Join the conversation on:?Facebook,?Instagram,?LinkedIn, and?Twitter. 


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