©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Governor Proclaims 2003 a Year of Economic Victories

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Michael Shore, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

Granholm Credits MEDC for Role in Creation/Retention of 43,000 Jobs;

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today tallied Michigans job creation and retention victories in 2003, saying a combination of state programs and incentives, most notably the Michigan Economic Growth Authority MEGA), helped create or retain 43,573 jobs this year.

Granholm was joined by company officials who most recently benefited from MEGA job creation/retention tax credits, signaling a strong finish to a year which saw the Governor forge collaborative relationships with business and labor to strengthen and create more manufacturing jobs in Michigan. Since January, the state has announced the creation and retention of 33,842 jobs as a result of MEGA credits. The program has helped convince 23 companies to expand or relocate in Michigan, the Governor noted.

Other programs, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Economic Development Job Training (EDJT), and brownfield redevelopment projects, have created approximately 6,415 additional jobs this year. Granholm also touted another 3,316 jobs created or retained through $4.75 million in infrastructure investments approved by the Transportation Economic Development Fund this week in Ottawa, Van Buren, and Wayne counties.

At the press conference, Granholm accepted a special award recognizing Michigans ranking among the top 10 most business-friendly states in the nation by Pollina Corporate Real Estate, a top business site selection firm.

This great news closes a very dynamic year, Granholm said. These many successes demonstrate Michigan ongoing vitality and how we have continued to make progress in saving and creating jobs even in the face of tough economic circumstances. The MEGA program is an integral tool in making Michigan one of the most competitive states in which to do business, and we cannot afford to have its reauthorization lost to politics.

Granholm urged the Legislature to send her a bill to reauthorize MEGA before the end of the year.

MEGA is our top gun for economic development, and it is critical to our ability to compete with other states for new jobs and business growth, Granholm said. To tamper with MEGA solely for political purposes is like disarming our state in the fight to create more jobs, something we simply cannot afford today.

The MEGA program is administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Granholm announced that the most recent successes facilitated by the program are investments at Delphi Automotive Systems in Saginaw, Karmann Manufacturing in Plymouth Township, and ZF Lemforder in Lapeer.

Delphi a world leader in mobile electronics and systems technology, plans to invest $30 million to upgrade its Saginaw Chassis manufacturing facility. The upgrades will make it possible for the plant to seek to attract high-tech product lines ensuring its future viability.

The project is expected to retain 800 manufacturing-related jobs through September 2007.

A brownfield single business tax credit of up to $3 million to facilitate the project was awarded by the MEGA board yesterday.

Karmann Manufacturing also received approval to utilize a single business tax credit valued at more than $2.9 million to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Plymouth Township. The German-based automotive supplier plans to invest $13 million to build the plant near its existing technical center for the manufacture of convertible roof systems for two automakers.

A site in was also considered for the project but tax credits offered by the MEDC convinced the company to stay and grow in Michigan. The project is expected to create 251 new jobs.

Another German-based company, ZF Lemforder, plans to expand its operations in Lapeer. The company is expected to invest an estimated $34.7 million in the project, creating 219 new jobs.

ZF Lemforder is the car chassis division of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a leading worldwide supplier of driveline and chassis technology. Headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, ZF is among the 15 largest automotive suppliers in the world.

The company considered North Carolina, Kentucky, and South Carolina as potential sites for expansion. A single business tax credit offered yesterday by the MEDC worth $1.1 million over the next 10 years helped convince ZF Lemforder to expand its operations in Lapeer.

"These three projects top off a very successful year for Michigan, said Don Jakeway, MEDC president and CEO. MEGA has proven to be among the most effective job creation and business incentive programs in the country. Being recognized by such a well respected firm as Pollina is further evidence that our continued efforts are paying off. It indicates that Michigan will continue to be a top location for companies looking to invest and create jobs.

Granholm reviewed some of the major successes that happened in Michigan this year, including 900 new jobs through the expansion of Plastech in Monroe and the construction of an automotive engine manufacturing facility by Global Engine Alliance, also in Monroe, that will create 1,136 new jobs. The relocation of the BorgWarner headquarters from to Auburn Hills also was cited as a major victory, as was a project in Alpena that will utilize a $1.6 million Community Development Block Grant to revitalize a former paper mill, convert it into a resort destination, create 163 new jobs, and spur $12 million in private investment.

During the press conference, Dr. Ronald R. Pollina presented an award to Governor Granholm recognizing Michigan as having the 7 most business-friendly climate in the nation. Pollina based his findings on a study that he authored, entitled Keeping Jobs in America, to address the job losses that the nation has endured and identify the most competitive and pro-business states.

His research team evaluated 25 factors controlled by state government including taxation, human resources and infrastructure as well as state economic incentive programs that have a positive impact on business and job development.

A leader in the field, Pollina provides strategic relocation advice, economic analysis and incentive negotiations for hundreds of companies throughout, Europe and Asia. For more information regarding the study, visit www.pollina.com.

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.

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