Thursday, August 17, 2006
Michael Shore, MEDC
MEDC Award Attracts $3 Million Investment, 45 New Jobs
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a $360,000 grant to Ontwa Township in Cass County to support the construction of a new North American Forest Products plant near Edwardsburg. The new plant will involve $3.35 million in private investment and result in the creation of 45 new jobs. A Michigan Economic Development Corporation representative presented a ceremonial check to city officials at a celebration event this morning.
"This decision to invest in Michigan is fresh evidence of our business-friendly environment," Granholm said. "This plant, and the jobs it will create, will strengthen this community and catalyze future economic growth in the area."
The grant is being made available by the MEDC with funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant program. The award will be used for water and sewer improvements to service the new facility in addition to construction of 1,350 feet of industrial roadway required due to heavy truck traffic. The township will contribute $124,500 to the project.
North American Forest Products Inc., based in Edwardsburg, is a lumber component and truss manufacturer serving the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries. NAFP currently has an office location in the township and is consolidating its Michigan/Elkhart, Indiana facilities to the site.
"We are gratified by North American's vote of confidence in the Ontwa Township community and its workforce," MEDC President and CEO James Epolito said. "The creation of new natural resourced-based jobs will help support our ongoing efforts to diversify our economy."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation 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 $40 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.
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. For more information on MEDC initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.michigan.org.
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