Michigan wins expansions over competing site in Tennessee, underscores state’s leadership position in semiconductor supply chain, advanced auto manufacturing and future mobility
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced that global advanced materials manufacturer Mersen USA is expanding in Bay City and Greenville with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $81.2 million and create 115 jobs in semiconductor and silicon chip materials manufacturing.
“Mersen USA is driving $81 million of investment and creating 115 good jobs in Bay City and Greenville, underscoring our leadership in advanced manufacturing and future mobility and builds on our economic momentum,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan was chosen for these expansions over Tennessee because of our talented workforce and strength in the future of mobility and the semiconductor supply chain. Let’s keep competing to win projects that bring home good-paying, high-skill jobs that will support our people and invest in the places we call home. Together, we can continue to send a clear message that everyone is welcome to make it in Michigan.”
“The decision by Mersen USA to expand in Michigan underscores our state’s leadership in advanced manufacturing as well as the strength of our business climate and talented workforce, and keeps Michigan at the forefront of the critical semiconductor industry,” said MEDC Sr. Vice President of Regional Prosperity Matt McCauley. “This project is a win for Bay City, Greenville and for the entire state. We are grateful to Governor Whitmer, legislators from both parties, and local officials for their continued support for our programs that help make announcements like today’s possible. We appreciate the efforts of our local partners in supporting these investments and will continue working to win projects, invest in places and support our people as we encourage businesses of all sizes to make it in Michigan.”
Mersen USA GS Corp. is a subsidiary of Mersen, a France-based global leader in electrical specialties and advanced materials for high-tech industries. Mersen’s Michigan locations are in Bay City and Greenville, where the company employs a total of 304 team members. Mersen’s Greenville facility specializes in the machining of graphite and rigid carbon insulation.
The company has seen dramatic growth and increasing demand for its graphite products that are used to manufacture silicon chips and semiconductors, given the rapidly expanding electrification and technology involved in electric vehicles. Due to this growth, Mersen is increasing its production capacity and product offerings. The company plans to expand at its Bay City facility by acquiring more than five acres of land and constructing four new buildings that will house new manufacturing space. In addition, four buildings at this location will be rehabilitated and expanded and will include the addition of a technical center. The Greenville location will be adding space to its main production facility, and both locations will invest in new machinery and equipment.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $81.2 million and create 115 jobs, supported by a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The company chose Michigan for the project over a competing site in Tennessee because of the quality of the materials currently being manufactured at its existing Michigan facilities.
“Mersen USA has been operating in Michigan for 30+ years,” said Mersen Bay City General Manager Brian Blakely. “We are excited to bring a major investment to Michigan that will expand our capacity and capabilities while adding numerous jobs in the state. This investment is the cornerstone of our desire to expand in Michigan and the Midwest region.”
“It’s a great thing to see companies bet big on our workers, our community, and our industries,” said state Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City). “Mersen’s substantial investment in their Bay City location means good-paying jobs for folks who live in our region now and is really promising for future opportunities here aligned with advanced manufacturing.”
The project aligns with the state’s work to position itself as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification and the semiconductor supply chain, and will further solidify the company’s presence and future investment in the state. The project is also expected to be a catalyst for the semiconductor industry’s continued growth in the state, building on existing assets and companies such as KLA, Hemlock Semiconductor, Calumet Electronics, SK Siltron and more.
Both the cities of Bay City and Greenville anticipate supporting the project through the approval of a property tax abatement. For information on careers with Mersen, visit https://www.graphite-eng.com/opportunities.
Local voices in support of the Mersen expansion
“Mersen USA is an industry leader who could have chosen to invest anywhere in the world but chose Bay City, Michigan, cementing their legacy of manufacturing here,” said Bay Future Inc. President and CEO Trevor Keyes. “This expansion demonstrates not only their leadership and explosive growth in the global market but also their commitment to Bay City, as one of the community’s top employers, and the State of Michigan. This monumental expansion project will create generational impact, providing good paying jobs for not only the current, but also future workforce. Based on the historical growth of the business locally and existing industry opportunities, we believe Mersen USA will prosper in their expanded Bay City location.”
“We are grateful that Mersen USA calls Bay City home and we look forward to their expanded presence here,” said City Manager of Bay City Dana Muscott. “The growth of Mersen in our community benefits not only our local economy, but provides opportunities for our community members, positively impacting their quality of life. Our city staff has been working in collaboration with the team at Bay Future, Inc. to make this project a reality and we are appreciative of the efforts of all involved.
“The Montcalm Economic Alliance and The Right Place are grateful to have worked with Mersen USA and the City of Greenville to continue expanding Mersen’s footprint in West Michigan,” said Montcalm Economic Alliance Executive Director Jakob Bigard. “This investment shows that the strength of industry has only grown in Greenville and Montcalm County in recent years and is poised to continue doing so.”
“The city of Greenville wholeheartedly supports the announcement from Mersen USA to invest $10 million in their Greenville facility and create an additional 45 jobs,” said Greenville City Manager George Bosanic. “This is just another great example of how Mersen continues to be a successful and valuable partner in our community!”
Michigan’s growing semiconductor leadership and momentum continues
The announcement by Mersen to increase its semiconductor material production in Michigan is the latest example of the semiconductor industry’s continued growth in the state. The news builds on the May announcement of a new public-private partnership with semiconductor company KLA, Belgium-based technology innovation hub imec, the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College and General Motors that will establish a global semiconductor center of excellence in Michigan.
The Semiconductor Talent and Automotive Research (STAR) initiative will focus on developing the talent base and infrastructure necessary to accelerate advanced semiconductor applications for electrification and autonomous mobility and move the automotive industry forward. The plan establishes a center of excellence in Michigan to formalize support for the development of the semiconductor industry workforce as well as the advancement of autonomous automotive solutions and electric vehicle research.
In March, California-based indie Semiconductor announced that it is investing $12.5 million and creating up to 180 high-wage jobs in Auburn Hills, where it plans to expand its office to include a best-in-class semiconductor design and testing facility. Michigan’s demonstrated leadership in advanced manufacturing within the semiconductor field is also evident in companies such as Hemlock Semiconductor, the largest producer of polysilicon in the U.S. Hemlock was chosen as the site of Governor Whitmer’s CHIPS Act executive directive signing thanks to its key role in Michigan’s growing semiconductor industry.
In September 2022, Hemlock announced plans to invest $375 million and create 170 jobs at its facilities in Thomas Township, further ensuring Hemlock’s long-term commitment to continue to produce the essential polysilicon for the semiconductor and solar industries in Michigan.
In an effort to make Michigan a top state for semiconductor talent solutions and growth, Gov. Whitmer and MEDC in late 2022 launched the new Semiconductor Talent Action Team. The Talent Action Team will work across the public sector, industry partners, and training institutions to identify a clear set of semiconductor-specific curricula and R&D investments, placing Michigan in a strong position to attract long-term, sustainable investments from semiconductor companies around the world.
With a rich history in manufacturing and innovation, Michigan is poised to be a guiding hand as the world’s needs for semiconductor technology continue to evolve in the 21st century. As the global epicenter of the automotive industry and home to one-fifth of U.S. auto production, Michigan is equipped to support the increasing global demand for semiconductor technology.
Learn more about the state’s semiconductor industry here.
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.
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