Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that a $17,423 Economic Development Job Training grant has been awarded to support skills training for 35 new hires at Cobra Motorcycle Manufacturing Inc. in Hillsdale. The grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
“Cobra Motorcycle chose to grow and create jobs in Michigan,” Granholm said. “This training assistance will ensure their ability to continue growing and creating up-to-date products that attract young and young-at-heart buyers and riders.”
The company has chosen the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center to conduct cutting-edge training in advanced manufacturing applications.
Cobra Sport Inc., a division of Youngstown, Ohio-based Cobra Motorcycle Manufacturing, invested $1.5 million to relocate its motorcycle manufacturing facility to Hillsdale from Ohio in November 2005 as a result of MEDC assistance. The company manufactures race-ready mini-motocross motorcycles marketed to younger competitive riders. The project was projected to create 132 new jobs, including 70 directly by the company. The MEDC approved a state tax credit valued at more than $386,000 over seven years to win the company’s business. The city of Hillsdale proposed a tax abatement valued at $20,000 over 12 years to support the project.
“We made a strong business case in partnership with Hillsdale that convinced Cobra to move its manufacturing operations to Michigan,” MEDC President and CEO James Epolito said. “We are happy that a Michigan location turned out to be a good decision and that we are able to support skills training for their new employees.”
Since 1994, nearly $340 million in EDJT grants has helped more than 610,000 Michigan workers improve their skills and enhance the competitiveness of their employers.
“Cobra has created quite a buzz in the community, it is seen as one of the coolest places to work in Hillsdale,” City of Hillsdale Economic Development Director Jay M. Bahr said. “Cobra CEO Sean Hilbert and the company have really taken this town to heart; in fact Sean has agreed to serve as a member of our Local Development Finance Authority board.”
In her 2007 State of the State address, Governor Granholm emphasized the need to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Strengthening Michigan’s workforce is part of that plan, with job training one of the tools used to enhance Michigan’s business-friendly climate.
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. For more information about the MEDC, please visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.
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