Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
New "Clean Room" will Enhance College's M-TEC Training Program
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a $250,000 grant to the city of Benton Harbor to help Lake Michigan College install a "clean room" facility at its M-TEC center that will allow the college's training program to expand into nanotechnology and other high-tech fields. The grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation through the Core Communities Fund to spur development in urban communities and traditional centers of commerce.
"I applaud leaders of Benton Harbor and Lake Michigan College for working together to equip our workers with the training and skills they will need to thrive in the new high-tech industries that will shape the 21st century," Granholm said. "High-tech jobs are high-wage jobs, and we need more of them in Michigan."
Since taking office in 2003, Governor Granholm has consistently pressed for state resources to be applied to develop new technologies that will result in a more diversified economy and the new jobs needed in that economy. The Technology Tri-Corridor initiative has provided key funding for nanotechnology research and commercialization.
"The City of Benton Harbor is extremely grateful for the State of Michigan's Core Communities Grant that will enable us to partner with Lake Michigan College at the M-TEC and put us on the cutting-edge of nanotechnology," Benton Harbor City Manager Dwight P. Mitchell said.
Benton Harbor is among 102 designated core communities and SmartZones eligible for the funding. The Core Communities Fund was established to:
Promote private investment and job creation;
Encourage mixed-use development in our central cities;
Redevelop and reuse obsolete buildings or other problem sites;
Compete for interstate and international projects;
Develop Certified Business or Technology Parks; and
Reduce urban sprawl.
In addition to the Benton Harbor project, the governor also announced today a $250,000 Core Communities grant to support a downtown revitalization project in Bay City.
"Core Communities grants provide our cities with innovative tools to help make them more competitive in attracting new jobs, new opportunities and a higher quality of life," MEDC President and CEO James Epolito said.
In her 2005 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005 the Governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 61,000 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.