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LANSING, Mich. -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced economic development grants for Superior Extrusion, Inc (SEI) to support the company's expansion and creation of 44 new jobs at its location at Sawyer International Airport in Forsyth Township (Marquette County) and a Transportation Economic Development (TEDF) grant that will support 304 new jobs announced earlier this year at Magna Electric Vehicle Structures - Michigan's (MEVSM) new manufacturing facility in the St. Clair Industrial Park in St. Clair County.
"As we put Michigan back to work, these grants demonstrate the collaborative efforts around economic development and infrastructure we are taking here in the state," said Governor Whitmer. "We continue to move forward with creating good jobs for Michiganders while ensuring safe roads for drivers, which will help our state emerge from the pandemic stronger than before. Let's get it done."
Superior Extrusion, Inc. expansion in Marquette County
SEI is a national leader in extruded aluminum products, producing and shipping more than 3,200 custom and standard profiles from its location in the Upper Peninsula. The company uses multiple hydraulic presses to create the aluminum shapes needed to make vehicle parts, docks, trailers, boats, and many other products. In 2020, SEI shipped more than 35 million pounds of extruded aluminum to customers across the county and currently has 160 employees on the site. The company's increased business demands require them to expand their facilities; however, the only option is to the south on land currently occupied by 11th Street, the main route into the airport.
"Superior Extrusion, Inc. has grown tremendously over the past 23 years and expects continued growth in the future due to increasing demands of current customers as well as the addition of new customers and the production of electric vehicles," said SEI Chairman of the Board George LaBlonde III. "We sincerely appreciate our partnership with our local partners, the State of Michigan and the Federal Aviation Administration for their ongoing support as our company continues to grow at Sawyer International Airport and the increased safety and efficient traffic flow that will result in the current expansion."
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has awarded a state TEDF grant in the amount of $660,000 to help fund infrastructure improvements associated with the expansion pending all relevant federal approvals. This TEDF grant will help support work performed by the Marquette County Road Commission (MCRC), including relocating 11th Street, building a new roundabout and road from the existing 11th Street south to 10th Street, resurfacing and adding turn lanes on Kelly Johnson Memorial Drive and 10th Street, and other associated road improvements. MCRC is contributing $482,811 to the project.
"The road commission is pleased and excited that we were able work with MDOT and SEI to secure a Category A grant that will help SEI in their expansion efforts," said James M. Iwanicki, P.E., MCRC engineer manager. "The relocation of 11th Street along with the improvements to Kelly Johnson Memorial Drive and 10th Street will greatly improve the road system for the traveling public."
The Michigan Strategic Fund has also authorized an amendment increasing the company's existing Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP) grant to $422,000 to help secure an additional $20.4 million in investment by SEI in Michigan over competing sites in Iowa and Ohio. The company originally received a $150,000 MBDP grant in 2017 for the creation of 30 jobs. Prior to this amendment, SEI had met the first jobs and investment milestones required.
"It has been exciting to see Superior Extrusion's growth over the years. Their new expansion is not only providing investment to the Sawyer area but also additional family sustaining jobs," said Lake Superior Community Partnership Director of Business Development Mary Myers. "We're very fortunate to have them in Marquette County."
The project will provide competitive wages that align with a strategic focus of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. in supporting manufacturing industry growth in the state. The project will represent one of the largest manufacturing expansions in the U.P. in years.
Magna Electric Vehicle Structures - Michigan, Inc. in St. Clair County
MDOT has also awarded a state TEDF grant that will support infrastructure improvements related to Magna's Magna Electric Vehicle Structures - Michigan's (MEVSM) division, a new manufacturing facility in the St. Clair Industrial Park. That project, and the 304 new jobs in St. Clair County it will support, was announced by Gov. Whitmer in February following approval of a $1.5 million MBDP grant approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund.
"Improving the surrounding transportation infrastructure is key to the long-term success of our new manufacturing operation in St. Clair," said Chris Hinman, general manager of MEVSM. "We appreciate all of the work done by the City of St. Clair and MDOT to make this project happen."
The expansion will support Magna's contract with General Motors (GM) to provide battery enclosures for the soon-to-be manufactured EV Hummer at GM's Factory Zero, located on the site of the former Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant, also a TEDF grant recipient earlier this year.
A key route connecting the site to I-94, Carney Drive is in poor condition and its continued decline would impact the company's ability to ship their finished products. The City of St. Clair committed to rebuild Carney Drive and improve its intersections at Vine Street and Clinton Avenue, which gave the company confidence to move forward with their proposed development at the industrial park. This TEDF Category A grant combined with additional City of St. Clair funds will be used to complete the road improvements. The total project cost is $1,306,150, including $864,218 in Category A funds and $441,932 from the City of St. Clair.
"Through the partnership and joint investment of MDOT and Magna, the City of St. Clair will improve our main trucking route," said Warren Rothe, city superintendent for the City of St. Clair. "MDOT's TEDF program has been instrumental in supporting the enhancement of our transportation infrastructure. The city welcomes these public-private partnerships that drive economic development throughout our city and state as a whole."
Enacted in 1987 and reauthorized in 1993, the TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers.
TEDF "Category A" or "Targeted Industries Program" grants provide state funding for public roadway improvements that allow road agencies to respond quickly to the transportation needs of expanding companies and eliminate inadequate roadways as an obstacle to private investment and job creation. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities and villages. More information about the program is available online at www.Michigan.gov/TEDF.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.