Friday, November 04, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Michigan Wins $6.5 Million Investment over Mexico
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that Blue Water Automotive Systems Inc. will invest $6.5 million to expand its Blue Water Molded Systems plant in the city of St. Clair. The expansion will create 35 new jobs and retain 160 current employees. Assistance offered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation helped convince the company to choose Michigan over a competing site in Mexico.
"This is a great win for Michigan's auto industry and the St. Clair community," Granholm said. "Blue Water's decision to expand and create jobs here instead of Mexico is a testament to Michigan's skilled workforce and competitive business climate."
The MEDC has offered an incentive package valued at approximately $362,000 which includes an economic Development Job Training Grant valued at $17,500 to win the project. The city of St. Clair has also proposed tax abatements worth an estimated $604,400.
"Blue Water Automotive Systems is pleased to be able to increase our presence in the area," company President and CEO Andy Ridgway said. "During the decision making process we were very impressed with the sound reasoning and cooperation exhibited by Economic Development Alliance, the City of St. Clair and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. They certainly convinced us that the option to enlarge our Haas Drive facility was our best business decision."
Blue Water Automotive Systems is the successor to Sarnamotive Blue Water, which was recently sold by the Swiss multinational firm Sarna Kunststoff Holding AG to BWAS Holdings, Inc. an affiliate of KPS Special Situations Fund II of New York, New York. Blue Water is headquartered in Marysville with seven facilities in Michigan, including five in St. Clair County that employ 800 workers.
"We are pleased that under new ownership the company is choosing to expand in St. Clair County for this important General Motors project," Executive Director of the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County Doug Alexander said. "Blue Water has a long and proud history and has remained an important part of the economic base of our community for many years."
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 63,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
"Winning this project was truly a collaborative effort between the MEDC, the city of St. Clair and the St. Clair County EDA," MEDC President and CEO James Epolito said. "The state and local incentive package we put together kept these jobs in Michigan."
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.