©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Granholm Announces Six Companies Expanding in Oakland County, Creating 3,686 New Jobs

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bridget Beckman, MEDC
(517) 335-4590beckmanb1@michigan.org

Companies investing $34 million to grow in Michigan

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that six companies--Echo Global Logistics, Gibbs Technologies, Harman Becker Automotive Systems, International Bancard Corporation, Robert Schechter & Associates and Technology Associates DBA Ranal--will expand their operations in Oakland County as a result of assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Combined, the expansions are expected to create 3,686 new jobs and involve more than $34 million in new capital investment. Each company chose Michigan over competing sites in other states and countries.

“These expansions will provide good-paying jobs and build on our state's strengths in manufacturing and high-tech R&D to attract even more investment to Michigan,” Granholm said. “Just as we have worked to secure these company expansions, we will continue to go anywhere and do anything to bring jobs to Michigan.”

The six projects announced today:  

  • Echo Global Logistics Inc.– Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board today approved a state tax credit valued at $12.6 million over 10 years to encourage the Chicago-based provider of technology enabled transportation and logistics servicesto launch new operations under consideration in Troy. In addition, the MEDC has offered up to $400,000 in job training assistance through the Economic Development Job Training program. To support the project, Oakland County has proposed assistance with employee recruitment and assessment and potential Workforce Investment Act funding of up to $50,000.The project, pending company approval, has the potential to generate up to $4 million in new capital investment and over 1,700 direct and indirect jobs.
  • Gibbs Technologies Inc.– Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $5.9 million over 10 years to encourage the developer of amphibious vehicles to establish a planning and R&D facility under consideration in Auburn Hills over a competing site in Alabama. The project, pending company approval,has the potential to generate up to $13 million in new capital investmentand create up to 521 new jobs, including 250 directly by the company. An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 271 indirect jobs. The city of Auburn Hills has approved an eight-year abatement worth $15,250 to support the project.
  • Harman Becker Automotive Systems Inc.– The world’s largest supplier of high-end automotive audio and infotainment systems plans to consolidate its North America acoustic development group from two out-of-state locations to a location in Novi. The company plans to invest up to $10 million in the project, which will include a new facility in Novi with offices, labs and R&D areas. The project is expected to create 275 new jobs, including 135 directly by the company. An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 140 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $2.5 million over seven years to win the expansion over competing sites in the US and Europe. To support the project, the city of Novi has proposed an expedited review and inspection process along with funding towards public infrastructure improvements. Harman Becker is a unit of Harman International Industries Inc., which provides audio and infotainment systems for the consumer, automotive and professional markets.
  • International Bancard Corporation –The financial transaction service provider plans to invest $2.1 million to relocate from Royal Oak into a larger facility in Clawson. The project is expected to create 325 new jobs, including 150 directly by the company. An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the expansion will generate an additional 175 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $1.1 million over seven years to win the expansion over competing sites in other states. In addition, the MEDC has offeredup to $50,000 in job training assistance through the Economic Development Job Training program. To support the project, the city of Clawson has proposed waiving all building and planning fees and making landscape improvements to the site.
  • My Insurance Expert.com (RSA) –The financial planning and benefits service provider plans to relocate and expand its Internet-based individual health and life insurance venture, My Insurance Expert.com from Farmington Hills to Troy. The company plans to invest $1.8 million in the project and expects to create 621 new jobs, including 337 directly by the company. An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC, estimates the project will generate an additional 284 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $3 million during the next five years to win the project over a competing site in Florida. To support the project, the city of Troy has proposed a $20,000 contribution and combination of services through the city’s Downtown Development Authority.
  • Technology Associates Inc.DBA Ranal Inc. – The engineering service provider plans to invest $2.5 million to expand its operations in Auburn Hills. The project is expected to create 167 new jobs, including 84 directly by the company. An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates the project will generate an additional 83 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $1.1 million over seven years to win the expansion over competing sites in India, Canada and Germany. To support the project, Oakland County has proposed up to $75,000 in training funds under the Workforce Investment Act.   

“Innovative economic development tools and solid teamwork between the state, Auburn Hills, Clawson, Novi, Troy and Oakland County were key in securing these expansions in Michigan,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “These projects would not have happened without the collaborative efforts of our local community partners who stepped up to the plate to help make the best business case for Michigan.”

The Oakland County projects are six of 18 economic development projects the governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create a total of 6,917 Michigan jobs.

“Oakland County is committed to providing an environment where businesses thrive and grow,” Deputy County Executive Dennis R. Toffolo said. “This announcement is one more example of the diversity of companies that find Oakland County a great place to do business.”

In her 2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century. Since January 2005, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 248,000 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. For more information on the MEDC’s initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.

 

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