Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Grant Will Back $6.2 Million Company Expansion, 140 New Jobs
"Avon is the type of competitive-edge technology firm that will play a key role in diversifying Michigan's economy in the 21st century," Granholm said. "This expansion will bring high-paying jobs to the Cadillac community."
The city will use the grant to provide training for the designer and manufacturer of military and general purpose respirators. The company will invest $6 million for machine and equipment upgrades to accommodate production of new gas masks for the U.S. Army and an additional $224,000 for job training. Avon specializes in the production of respirators used in confined space professions.
"We are very pleased that Avon Protection Systems is expanding its operations in Cadillac and are glad that we could help to facilitate this expansion through the CDBG job training grant," Cadillac Mayor Ron Blanchard said. "Cadillac is very fortunate to be experiencing growth in its manufacturing base and the MEDC's assistance has been critical in helping us to retain and assist growth in area industries."
The MEDC administers the state's Community Development Block Grant funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are used to provide grants and loans to eligible counties, cities, villages and townships-typically those with populations less than 50,000-for economic development, community development and housing projects. Larger communities receive block grant funds directly from the federal government.
The MEDC is able to award approximately $50 million in federal CDBG funds each year. There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for these funds. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
"CDBG funding spawns economic growth and investment by providing assistance to communities for everything from employee training to downtown housing construction," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "This grant will give Avon's workforce the advanced training and skills required to compete as well as improving Cadillac's overall business prospects."
In her 2005 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005 the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 53,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
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.