Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James C. Epolito today announced a $2.9 million grant to support a $10.5 million expansion by Palm Plastics, Ltd. in Morenci. The project is expected to create 132 new jobs and $7.2 million in new capital investment.
“Michigan was built on the bedrock of manufacturing, and we will continue to do all we can to support companies like Palm Plastics that want to grow and create jobs here,” Granholm said.
The grant is being made available by the MEDC with funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant program. The grant will help the city of Morenci extend public water lines, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and industrial park roadways as Palm Plastics plans to construct a 70,000 square-foot building in the Morenci Industrial Park. The grant will also assist with the purchase of new machinery and equipment. To support the expansion, the city of Morenci will provide $270,090.
“The City of Morenci is blessed to have corporate citizens who greatly desire to grow and develop their facilities and labor force here in our community,” said Keith Pennington, chairman of the Finance, Legal and Economic Development Committee on the Morenci City Council. “Palm Plastics had several opportunities to move the expansion out of our community and out-of-state. I believe without the company’s strong personal commitment to expand here and the MEDC’s ability to respond in an extraordinary way to meet Palm’s timetable, then we would not only have lost the expansion project, but ultimately we would have lost the existing plant as well.”
Palm Plastics was formed in 2003 and is the world’s largest producer of plastic pallets. The company, which currently employs 252 people, also produces various plastic consumer products for the retail market.
“The substantial efforts of Governor Granholm, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Lenawee County and the City of Morenci have reflected their significant commitment to retain and expand the manufacturing sector in Michigan,” said Jeffrey Owen, president and CEO of Palm Plastics, Ltd.
Palm Plastics, Ltd. will continue its sincere efforts to remain an appreciative corporate and community partner to the City of Morenci.”
The MEDC administers the state’s Community Development Block Grant (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 the city of Morenci,” Epolito said. “This grant will allow Palm Plastics to continue to grow, invest and create good manufacturing 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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