Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
$176,100 Grant Will Benefit 180 Employees of Zeeland Auto Supplier
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a $176,100 Economic Development Job Training grant to boost the skills of 180 workers at Gentex Corporation in Zeeland. The grant, provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, will provide employees with specialized technical, information technology, applied academic, equipment and other high-tech process training.
"The high-tech products Gentex manufactures depends on a highly trained workforce," Granholm said. "This training will strengthen the company's workforce and allow it to compete in today's global economy."
In her 2005 State of the State address, Governor Granholm emphasized the need to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Strengthening Michigan's workforce is part of that plan, with job training one of the tools used to enhance Michigan's business-friendly climate.
Under the terms of the award, the Ottawa Chamber Foundation will be the grant administrator with Gentex providing a minimum 25 percent funding match.
"Gentex is first and foremost a high-tech electronics manufacturer," Gentex Executive Vice President Garth Deur said. "We consider manufacturing to be a competitive advantage, so ongoing technical training is critical to our success."
Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation is an international company that supplies state-of-the-art electronic products for the global automotive industry and the North American fire protection market. Gentex's headquarters is in Zeeland where it operates four facilities. The company also has an automotive sales office in Livonia and automotive sales and engineering subsidiaries in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Korea.
Gentex is best known for developing, manufacturing and marketing interior and exterior automatic-dimming automotive rearview mirrors that utilize cutting-edge technology to lessen the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps. Gentex supplies its auto-dimming mirrors to virtually every major auto manufacturer in the world.
Since 1994, more than $260 million in EDJT grants have helped over half a million Michigan workers improve their skills and enhance the competitiveness of their employers.
"We are proud to back Gentex's commitment to Michigan's workforce," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "Collectively, Michigan has the most talented, highly skilled workers in the world and that's a great resource to tap for any company looking to remain competitive in today's economy."
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.