Monday, February 14, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Grants Support Public Improvements and AAR Mobility Systems Expansion
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced $600,000 in federal funding for the city of Cadillac that will lead to the creation of 150 new jobs and more than $2 million in private investment. The Community Development Block Grants being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will support a downtown neighborhood improvement project and public improvements needed for military contractor AAR Mobility Systems to expand its operations.
"The planned improvements will add greatly to Cadillac's ability to attract businesses, residents and visitors," Granholm said. "While government can't create cool, we can and will target resources in support of local efforts to create vibrant cities throughout Michigan."
A $330,000 grant will be used to make upgrades to the roadway, curbs, gutters, sewers and sidewalks on Cadillac's Pine Street. The improvements will support the continuous development of the city's Neighborhood of Choice, now known as a Michigan Blueprint Neighborhood, an element of the Governor's comprehensive Cool Cities initiative. The goal of the Blueprints program is to improve neighborhoods adjacent to traditional downtowns to enhance the economic vitality of the entire community.
"The city of Cadillac is very excited about the growth of AAR Mobility Systems and the opportunity to be a Michigan Blueprint Neighborhood community," Cadillac Mayor Ronald Blanchard said. "The Community Development Block Grants awarded to the city by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation are a key component to sustaining and promoting our local revitalization and growth efforts. We are certainly thankful for this state support and endorsement of our community development initiatives."
The city will also use a $270,000 grant to make road and sewer improvements for the expansion of AAR Mobility's existing plant to accommodate production of a new field shelter product for the U.S. military. Cadillac was in competition with two other out-of-state AAR facilities for the project.
"The CDBG program has helped communities across the state address expensive public infrastructure needs," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "I commend Cadillac leaders for pursuing these projects, which will have a lasting impact on the city."
In her 2005 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. In the past 12 months the Governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 54,982 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation administers the state's Community Development Block Grant 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.
Governor Granholm's Cool Cities program is an initiative to grow the economy and keep young, educated workers in the state by fostering the development of vibrant, attractive cities and urban centers. For more information on Cool Cities Blueprints for Michigan's Neighborhoods, please visit www.coolcities.com.
AAR Mobility Systems is a subsidiary of AAR Corporation headquartered in Illinois. The company manufactures lightweight, deployable containers, pallets and shelter systems and employs some 2,250 people at 31 facilities in 13 countries.
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.