LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced an $112,928 grant that will support an expansion by agricultural supplier Johnson System Inc. (JSI) in Marshall. The project, which will allow JSI to build towers for wind turbines for residential and private business use, is expected to generate $279,000 in private investment and create 15 new jobs.
“Our efforts to diversify Michigan’s economy are working,” Granholm said. “We look forward to continuing to partner with innovative companies like Johnson System Inc. who are taking advantage of new opportunities and creating new jobs.”
The grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) with funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The grant will help the city of Marshall hook the company up to the city’s existing sewer system. Currently, the JSI facility is serviced by a drain field which won’t be sufficient to handle the increased capacity as a result of the project. To support the expansion, the city of Marshall will provide $12,548.
“We are very excited to have a role in Johnson System Inc. expanding into the renewable energy market through the manufacturing of towers that support wind turbines,” said Mike Hindenach, manager of Marshall Economic Development. “We look forward to working with the state, the city of Marshall and Johnson System Inc. to complete the project.”
JSI was established in 1983 and is a leading manufacturer of catwalks, towers and support structures, as well as bean and grain ladders. JSI’s products are sold to agricultural customers worldwide.
“The city of Marshall made the application process painless,” said Howard Johnson, vice president of Johnson System Inc. “They helped us with each step. We are looking forward to business growth at the facility on Industrial Road.”
The MEDC administers the state’s CDBG 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.
“Securing the necessary funding for this project was a collaborative effort between the MEDC and our local partners in the city of Marshall,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. “This grant will allow JSI to continue to expand, invest and create jobs in the state.”
There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for CDBG funds administered by the MEDC. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
The MEDC, 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. For more information on MEDC initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.
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