Michigan Strategic Fund Approves Grants for New Corning Manufacturing Facility, Over 1,100 Jobs in Michigan

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Company selects Saginaw County to build out domestic supply chain for solar energy components

LANSING – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Corning Incorporated has chosen Michigan for a new manufacturing facility dedicated to the creation of U.S.-made solar components with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. This investment will help meet a sharp rise in demand for solar power that the current domestic solar supply chain cannot meet while creating good-paying jobs that put Michigan on track to achieve a greener, more sustainable future.

“Corning has a long, proud history in Michigan, and today they are expanding their footprint here with a new manufacturing facility creating over 1,100 good-paying jobs,” said Governor Whitmer. “With an investment of up to $900 million in Saginaw County, Corning chose Michigan for this facility because of our talent pool and commitment to being the best state to build an American-made clean energy future. Together, we will continue charging towards our 100% clean energy by 2040, bring the solar supply chain home, and create middle-class, family-sustaining jobs for Michiganders. Let’s keep competing for and winning these projects.”

To grow this domestic supply, Corning, on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary, Solar Technology, LLC, plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Richland Township in Saginaw County with an investment of up to $900 million. The project is expected to create over 1,100 jobs, with starting wages expected to exceed the median wage for the region. Additionally, employees will receive a comprehensive benefits package.

Corning chose Michigan for the project over competing sites in the Midwest and Northeast because of its talent pool and commitment to onshore critical clean energy supply chains.

To support the project, the Michigan Strategic Fund today approved:

  • A $68 million performance-based Critical Industries Program (CIP) grant through the Strategic Outreach and Reserve Fund (SOAR).
  • A 15-Year State Essential Services Assessment Exemption valued at $12.3 million.
  • A $29 million Strategic Site Readiness Program (SSRP) grant to Thomas Township for public infrastructure, road improvements and related expenses.

“We are grateful to Corning Corporation and its partners for this vote of confidence in Team Michigan. The MEDC is proud to support companies like Corning who prove you can ‘Make it in Michigan’ regardless of whether you are a small company just starting out, have called Michigan home for a long time, or are entirely new to our great state,” said MEDC CEO and MSF Board President Quentin Messer, Jr. “By onshoring our clean energy supply chain through projects like this, Michigan continues to assert its dominance in an industry that is vital not only to our energy independence but also to our climate security. Corning has a long history of innovation and civic engagement. We are excited to welcome the company to Michigan to author the next chapters in its storied history right here in the Saginaw region moving forward.”

The proposed facility will build on Corning’s deep global business expertise and world-leading capabilities in materials science.

“We are grateful for the strong leadership, collaboration and support from Governor Whitmer, the Michigan Legislature and the State of Michigan,” said Scott Forester, Corning division vice president and program executive, Solar. “These approved incentives helped confirm Michigan as the natural choice for this new endeavor. The planned facility will create thousands of local jobs and advance the goal of expanding access to U.S. renewable energy solutions.”

Richland Township anticipates approval of a property tax abatement in support of the project. Further, it is anticipated the influx of jobs will result in spin-off investments and redevelopment opportunities, including over $5.6 billion in new personal income generated over 20 years by the direct, indirect, and induced jobs from the project.

“We are thrilled to work with such a great company and to have an investment and job creation project of this magnitude coming to Saginaw County and the Great Lakes Bay Region”, said JoAnn Crary, President of Saginaw Future Inc. “This has been an excellent partnership between Corning, the MEDC, local government entities and Saginaw Future. We are pleased the MSF Board voted to support this incredible development and look forward to seeking legislative approval.”

A 2023 Clean Jobs America Report stated that clean energy businesses in Michigan added more than 5,400 workers in 2022 and now employ 123,983 Michiganders. Michigan now leads the Midwest in number of clean energy workers. According to the World Resource Institute, by the year 2040, the state could create 41,000 new jobs as it advances electric vehicle manufacturing and with the build-out of renewable energy, like solar and wind. 

Michigan offers a broad range of high-tech talent, ranking first in the country for our concentration of engineering talent and commercial and industrial designers, and ranking in the top 10 nationally for our semiconductor workforce, STEM degree completions and our tech talent pipeline. Michigan is also home to over a fifth of the nation’s manufacturing workforce, including diverse and knowledgeable skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen.


Local and partner voices in support of the project:

“Michigan has always been a beacon of manufacturing greatness, and I am thrilled to see that tradition continue with Corning’s investment in Saginaw County,” said Sen. Kevin Daley (R-Lum). “This project will result in the creation of many quality jobs and give a tremendous boost to our community.”

“I am proud and excited to support the new Corning Solar Technology manufacturing facility in Richland Township,” said Rep. Graham Filler (R-Duplain Township). “Over 1,000 new jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, and advancements in technology and manufacturing are true blessings for the township, Saginaw County, and the State of Michigan.”

“Opportunities happen when we invest in a better future. We recently passed the Michigan Jobs, Michigan Energy bill package and it is already paying off. This announcement for my community will spur over $900 million in investments and over 1,000 jobs in just one new energy facility — imagine what lies ahead. We are committed to moving toward more environmentally friendly modes of energy, and we are just getting started,” Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw).

“This tremendous win for mid-Michigan families and our local economy is no coincidence. 1,100 high-paying jobs are coming here because Corning sees Michigan’s commitment to growing clean energy and our region’s success in advanced manufacturing,” said Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City). “It’s a massive investment, and I’m elated for the positive impact it will have on our families now and for decades to come.”

“We’re privileged to help usher in jobs and investment by providing businesses the competitive energy solutions they need to grow and thrive,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer and a member of the MEDC’s Executive Committee. “We’re proud to partner with Corning and the MEDC to help power Corning’s progress and success with innovative energy solutions.”

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.