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Governor Whitmer Announces 184 New Jobs in Auto Manufacturing and EV Testing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                

May 20, 2022

Contact: Press@michigan.gov                                 

 

Governor Whitmer Announces 184 New Jobs in Auto Manufacturing, EV Testing in Battle Creek and Southeast Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce two business expansions that will create 184 good jobs around the state. The expansions, which have been approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund, will build on the state’s economic growth and boost Michigan’s global leadership in auto manufacturing and mobility solutions.

“Today’s investments will create 184 jobs and help us continue growing our economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “Since I took office, we’ve added 21,600 auto jobs and today’s projects will keep building on that progress. These investments are possible because we worked side by side last December to enact historic, bipartisan economic development legislation that has empowered us to compete for more dollars and jobs, including the $7 billion investment from GM we landed in January. We will continue building on our leadership in mobility and electrification solutions by supporting business growth in our communities. Our economy is growing and thanks to projects like these, we will keep moving Michigan forward.”

Bleistahl – 69 jobs in Battle Creek

Bleistahl North American Limited Partnership, founded in 2013 and located in Battle Creek, manufactures powder metal valve train components for Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. Bleistahl North America’s parent, Bleistahl GmbH & Co. & Co. KG, has been supplying parts for the auto industry worldwide since 1954. 

Bleistahl is experiencing significant growth and plans to expand at its facility in Battle Creek, where it will add new equipment and a fourth shift. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $8.7 million and create 69 jobs, supported by a $414,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in Indiana and Ohio.

The project will bring immediate, good jobs in the auto manufacturing industry and will further solidify the company’s presence and future investment in the state. Bleistahl supports personal growth of its employees and encourages them to grow their skillsets. The company also works with Michigan Works! to reach local talent in disadvantaged areas, and has worked with the local nonprofit Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program (KPEP) to provide second chances to adult offenders as an alternative to incarceration.

“We are thrilled to expand our manufacturing operations in Battle Creek, with the support of Battle Creek Unlimited, and the MEDC. Customer demand has increased, and we will subsequently need to increase our overall production,” said Bleistahl North America LP Managing Director Anthony Tuthill. “Battle Creek has a skilled and talented workforce, many of which have already joined our team, and we are excited to add to our team as we continue to grow.”  

Battle Creek Unlimited, which helped secure the company’s facility in Battle Creek in 2012, has offered staff time and resources in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Bleistahl should contact: Sharon.MacPherson@bleistahl.de, or call (269)715-8585 ex:126

“We are thrilled that Bleistahl has chosen to expand their operations in Battle Creek, Michigan,” said Battle Creek Unlimited President and CEO Joe Sobieralski. “Since 2013 Bleistahl has been providing quality jobs for our community and we are excited for their next chapter and growth in Battle Creek.”

UTAC – 85 jobs in Charter Township of Redford

UTAC, formerly Millbrook Revolutionary Engineering Inc., provides automotive testing services in a safe and secure environment. Millbrook was acquired by UTAC in 2021 with the goal of becoming the market-leading international group in its industry. The company is best known for its expertise in automotive testing services and in international regulations, and for its test centers, where it performs repeatable tests in a safe and secure environment. UTAC also has a range of test capabilities for full vehicles, tires and components, including engine dyno, e-motor and e-axle test cells, structural test laboratories, crash laboratories, interior systems, advance emissions chassis dynamometers, battery test facilities and innovative indoor winter test tracks. UTAC currently employs 115 people at its Michigan location. 

In response to the growing electric vehicle market, UTAC is planning to expand an existing facility in the Charter Township of Redford to build out a testing facility, where it will perform automotive and mobility sector testing. This facility will be focused on providing testing services to the expanding electrification market and will also serve as the company’s U.S. headquarters. 

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $26.2 million and create up to 85 high-wage jobs, supported by an $850,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in California and Ohio. 

“The decision to expand our test and systems build facilities to include Electrified Vehicle powertrain testing reaffirms our commitment to this rapidly growing industry. UTAC will play an integral role in the EV testing industry and will create high-tech, quality jobs in our community for the electrified future,” said UTAC USA Managing Director Dustin Harrison. “Our bespoke designed powertrain and battery test systems will be able to support design validation, controls calibration, and replicate the performance of full-scale production according to our customers’ unique specifications.  Globally UTAC provides end to end vehicle validation at all levels. We look forward to advancing the sustainable future in Michigan and beyond.”

The project will further boost Michigan ‘s efforts to position itself as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification. In addition, the company is heavily focused on promotion from within and also works with local universities to attract talent. The project will solidify the company’s presence and future investment in the state. The Charter Township of Redford has offered to assist the company with talent attraction and recruitment. Individuals interested in careers with UTAC should visit https://www.utac.com/careers/.

“Today’s projects reinforce our commitment to providing long-term economic growth for all Michiganders by highlighting the continued strength of our state’s talented workforce and our leadership positions in advanced manufacturing and an electrified mobility future,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “We are grateful to the Governor, legislators, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board, and local officials for their continued support of the Michigan Business Development Program, which was critical to bringing these efforts to life here in the state. These projects reflect our commitment to seizing opportunities that ensure Michigan becomes an even better place for each of our 10 million-plus friends and neighbors to live, work, visit, play, and create futures.”

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