Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Winners Get $1M In Cash and Prizes

After two days of pitches by 51 semifinalists at the 5th annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, Sky Specs LLC was named as this year’s grand prize winner.

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (photo – acceleratemichigan.org)

Sky Specs, which develops drone safety software and products that help drones avoid collisions, was awarded $500,000 as the grand prize winner.

Cribspot, the second-place winner, was awarded $100,000. Cribspot is working on an innovative system to help students find and manage off-campus accommodations.

Nine other teams won $25,000 each as the winners in specific sectors such as information technology, manufacturing, life sciences, advanced materials, alternative energy, etc.

Apart from the cash awards, the winners will also be getting access to services, software and staffing. In addition to the main competition, Accelerate Michigan also included a venture idea contest for student teams vying for $15,000 in prizes to help them launch their ideas into real ventures.

The first prize in this venture idea contest went to EV Airway Technologies, which has come up with a product that improves comfort and reduces risks for patients using air tubes.

The schedule of events also included an appearance by ten-year old Michigan entrepreneur “Super Business Girl” Asia Newson – Detroit’s youngest entrepreneur who started her business making and selling candles when she was five and is the CEO of the company which she runs with her dad.

Martin Dober, vice president of Detroit community and economic development organization Invest Detroit, said in a release that this year’s competition was truly encouraging as the competitors displayed utmost dedication in continuing to contribute to Michigan’s innovation economy and culture.

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition was established with grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the New Economy Initiative. The MEDC grant was provided through the 21st Century Jobs Fund.

The competition was launched with the intention of connecting later-stage entrepreneurial companies with national and international investors. It recognizes and supports innovative projects that are considered to be the most promising companies to watch.

Varsity News Network, which was named as last year’s grand prize winner, has since raised $4.6 million more through three separate funding rounds from ten investors. All Accelerate Michigan companies have together raised more $120 million in funding to-date, and created 600 jobs in Michigan.

Accelerate Michigan Executive Director Lauren Bigelow said that they’re excited to see the impact of this year’s winners, even as an increasing number of entrepreneurs and businesses continue investing in the state’s economic development.

Bigelow added that they are looking forward to seeing the participating companies continue to grow and do wonderful things for the state.

Michigan Approves $50M for Community College Skilled Trades Training Program

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced that the Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a new training initiative called the Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program.

Pure Michigan

Pure Michigan (photo – PunkToad/Flickr)

Through CCSTEP, community colleges in the state will have access to a combined total of $50 million for purchasing equipment that will allow the colleges to deliver education for high-demand and high-wage occupations that need skilled workers.

Each college applying for CCSTEP funding will be able to seek up to $4.8 million. The application process will start next month, and the funding awards will be announced next year in February.

Governor Rick Snyder said in a statement that Michigan intends to lead the nation in skilled trades training, and providing community colleges with funding assistance is a huge step forward in that direction.

The MEDC also announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of economic development incentives for an expansion project by Thomson Reuters, two separate projects by subsidiaries of Magna International, Inc., a relocation project by Chrysler supplier Mobis North America, and another expansion project undertaken by automotive supplier Shiloh Industries.

Thomson Reuters Inc. develops and sells tax and accounting software for the public accounting sector from a facility in the Ann Arbor area. The operations there have outgrown the facility, and the company is planning a $19.8 million expansion in Pittsfield Charter Township that will create 300 new jobs.

Thomson Reuters was considering an alternative site in Texas for the expansion, but Ann Arbor SPARK helped the company secure a $2.4 million performance-based grant under the Michigan Business Development (MBD) Program. Pittsfield Charter Township is additionally considering offering local incentives to support the project through a property tax abatement.

Magna Exteriors and Interiors, USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Magna International, Inc., is planning to build a new factory in Windsor Township with an investment of $57 million and 281 jobs. This project is getting a $2 million MBD grant, and Windsor Township is additionally offering a property tax abatement.

Magna Lighting, another Magna International, Inc. subsidiary, is building a new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Plymouth Charter Township, where it also plans to consolidate its R&D, engineering, and sales and marketing operations. The company, supported by a $3 million MBD grant, is investing $59.2 million into the project, and expects to create 466 new jobs.

Plymouth Charter Township is also the location for another project by Mobis North America, which is relocating from a facility in Farmington Hills, MI to a larger one in Plymouth Charter Township. The company is investing $26.6 million into the project, and expects to create 121 new jobs, supported by a $1.25 million MBD grant. If this project had not been secured by Michigan, the entire facility would have been relocated to the company’s headquarters in Toledo, OH.

Shiloh Industries and its subsidiary Greenfield Die & Manufacturing Corporation are investing $48 million and creating 128 jobs for expanding manufacturing operations in Canton Township and establishing a new sales and technical center in Plymouth Township. The company, supported by a $2 million MBD grant and a property tax abatement from Canton Township, chose Michigan for these projects after considering competing out-of-state sites in Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee.

Michigan Economic Development Incentives Announced for Projects Creating 568 New Jobs

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced approval of incentives by the Michigan Strategic Fund for 11 projects that will create a total of 568 new jobs while generating $97.4 million in private investment.

Job creation in Michigan

Job creation in Michigan (photo – michiganbusiness.org)

Four of the projects are business expansions that are receiving incentives under the Michigan Business Development (MBD) Program.

Harman Becker Automotive Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Harman International Industries, is consolidating operations currently dispersed in six different facilities into a single new complex in the City of Novi, MI. Harman is investing close to $45 million into this project, and will be creating 150 new jobs.

The company chose Novi for the consolidation over competing sites in California, Colorado and Illinois. Harman has been approved to receive an $800,000 performance-based grant under the MBD program, and the City of Novi is additionally supporting the project with a property tax abatement.

Specialty heater manufacturer Nexthermal Corp is getting a $250,000 MBD grant for a proposed expansion in the City of Battle Creek where the company plans to create 50 new jobs and invest $1.96 million.

Nexthermal chose Battle Creek and Michigan over competing sites in Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and overseas locations in India and China. The City of Battle Creek is additionally supporting the project with local incentives provided as an Industrial Facility Tax Exemption.

The other two expansions are by CDK Global, Inc. in downtown Detroit and by Sunrise Windows Ltd. in Bedford Township. Both companies are undertaking expansions that will create 100 jobs each. CDK Global is investing $3.6 million and is getting a $1 million MBD grant, while Sunrise is investing $5.1 million and getting a $350,000 MBD grant.

Apart from incentives for these four expansion projects, MSF approval was also announced for five projects under the Michigan Community Revitalization Program.

One of these five projects is a plan by Artspace Projects, Inc. to renovate three buildings in Dearborn, MI. The core of the project is a conversion of Dearborn City Hall into a mixed-use arts campus that includes 54 affordable working and living spaces designed for artists.

This development will also include studios, galleries and a creative entrepreneurship center that will provide support for the artists in the complex. The project will create four full-time jobs and generate $15.8 million in capital investment.

Artspace Projects, Inc. is getting a $1 million performance-based grant under the Michigan Community Revitalization Program. The City of Dearborn is supporting the project with a PILOT agreement valued at $1.3 million, plus a $400,000 loan and another $500,000 in HOME funding.

Since two of the buildings being renovated are historic buildings, federal assistance is being provided through federal historic tax credits and low-income housing tax credits. The project is also getting grants from the Ford Foundation and Severstal International.

Community revitalization grants were also approved for three other projects in Detroit and one more in Grand Rapids. The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was additionally approved to use local and state taxes valued at $346,180 for redeveloping a four-story building into 36 residential units and retail space.

The City of Sturgis was awarded $442,000 in CDBG funding to be used for providing job training for an expansion project by Sturgis Molded Products which is creating 50 new jobs.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney said in a release that these new investments show Michigan’s highly competitive business climate and talented workforce mean real opportunities for growing companies.

West Michigan Economic Development Projects to Create 920 Jobs

Two projects announced by West Michigan regional economic development organization The Right Place, Inc. will bring nearly 1,000 jobs and $169 million in investments to the region.

The Right Place economic development project announcements in West Michigan

The Right Place economic development project announcements in West Michigan (photo – The Right Place)

The Right Place, Inc. and other local partners in the cities of Greenville and Walker, MI worked with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to secure the Dicastal North America and Plasan Carbon Composites, Inc. projects.

Dicastal North America is a new business entity created by Chinese aluminum wheel manufacturer CiTiC Dicastal Co. Ltd.

Dicastal will be opening a new aluminum alloy manufacturing plant with a capacity to produce three million wheels annuallyin the former Uni-Solar facility in Greenville, MI. Dicastal has acquired the 98-acre parcel and intends to expand it to add another 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

The company’s $140 million investment and plans to create 300 new jobs over the next four years is being supported with a package of local and state incentives worth a total of around $8.5 million. This includes state grants under the Michigan Business Development Program, a CDBG grant allocation, energy incentives and property tax abatements.

The Right Place, Inc. President and CEO Birgit Klohs said in a statement that this economic development project underlines the importance of having a strong international business development strategy for West Michigan and working with partners including the City of Greenville and the MEDC.

The other project announced by The Right Place is a $29 million expansion by Plasan Carbon Composites, Inc. in the City of Walker, MI. The automotive tier one manufacturer supplies carbon fiber parts and assemblies, and relocated its headquarters to Wixom, MI last year.

The company already has 350 employees at its existing 197,000-square-foot facility in Walker, but consolidation of operations in Walker has caused it to reach capacity quickly and the company needs to further expand manufacturing capacity.

The $29 million expansion project will create 620 new jobs over the next three years at the plant in Walker.

Plasan Carbon Composites is getting $6 million in incentives for this expansion project, including a state grant under the Michigan Business Development Program and additional local incentives from the City of Walker.

Plasan Carbon Composites President Jim Staargaard said their experience in launching the new facility in West Michigan has been great and made easy the decision on how and where to expand with their next phase of growth.

Michigan Approves Economic Development Incentives for Toyota and Other Projects Creating 352 Jobs

Michigan has approved community revitalization and economic development incentives for projects creating 352 new jobs and generating a total of nearly $148 million in capital investment.

Jobs in the Comeback State

Jobs in the Comeback State (photo – michiganbusiness.org)

The biggest project that received approval for state and local incentives is a proposed expansion by Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Inc. in York Township, MI.

Toyota plans to invest up to $32.5 million and create 250 jobs. These are direct procurement positions being relocated from an existing facility in Erlanger, KY. The company chose the Toyota Technical Center campus in Michigan over several other competing sites in multiple states.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced that Toyota has been awarded a $4 million performance-based grant under the Michigan Business Development Program for this project.

York Township is additionally considering approval of local incentives in the form of a 12-year property tax abatement that could save the company up to $4.6 million.

The project was secured through a collaborative effort involving MEDC, York Township and Ann Arbor SPARK.

Osamu Nagata, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Inc., said that they look forward to strengthening ties with Michigan even further and making continued investments that will help drive the success of Toyota, its supplier partners and the state for many years to come.

Apart from the Toyota project, incentives were also approved for four redevelopment projects being undertaken by the City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and one more by the Redford Charter Township Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

One of the Detroit redevelopments is the Orleans Landing project, a mixed-use development that will include 20 new buildings with commercial and retail space and 278 multifamily housing units. This project is expected to generate $61 million in capital investment and create 39 new full-time jobs.

DBRA received approval to spend $6,495,862 in local tax revenues for this project, supported by $7.61 million in equity support under the Michigan Community Revitalization Program, along with reauthorization of $6,983,874 in tax credits under the Brownfield Michigan Business Tax Credit program.

Another property on McGraw Street in Detroit being redeveloped by the DBRA will be used as a warehouse and office building by automotive service provider Comprehensive Logistics Co. This previously announced project is creating 240 jobs and generating $19.1 million in capital investment, and is supported by an $800,000 performance-based grant.

The DBRA also received approval to use local taxes for the redevelopment of the historic El Moore apartments in Detroit, owned by sustainable development practitioner Green Garage, LLC, into 23 residential units surrounded by open green spaces, greenhouses, urban agriculture infrastructure, and a building housing a food market for locally produced goods. This project is expected to create two full-time jobs and generate $6.9 million in capital investment.

Approval for the use of local taxes for the Du Charme Place LLC redevelopment project in Detroit will provide new housing with 185 apartments. This project, which includes a fitness center, is expected to create six new full-time jobs and generate $38.5 million in capital investment.

In Redford Charter Township, the use of local taxes for the George Matick Auto Campus project with a renovated car dealership and addition of a car wash and fuel service center will likewise help create 55 new jobs and bring $9 million in capital investment.

Michael A. Finney, president and chief executive officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., said that these projects, all examples of public-private teamwork, will help strengthen communities and help growing companies generate new job opportunities.

Meeting of the Minds in Detroit

The Meeting of the Minds Summit is scheduled to take place in Detroit, Michigan from Sept 30-Oct 2, 2014.

Meeting of the Minds 2014 in Detroit, MI

Meeting of the Minds 2014 in Detroit, MI (photo – cityminded.org)

Meeting of the Minds is an urban knowledge sharing platform based out of San Francisco, CA. They organize webinars, meetups, roundtables and the annual summit on urban sustainability and connected technologies in the fall.

The annual summit brings together 350 policy makers, innovators, leading thinkers and opinion shapers for two intensive days of thought leadership and industry development.

This year, they chose Detroit for the summit because the city, like many other stars of the industrial age, is now trying to reinvent itself and is searching for a new identity and urban future.

With Detroit as the setting for a discussion of alternative urban futures, these will be the kind of questions debated at the Meeting of the Minds 2014 Summit – How are cities redefining themselves? How to revitalize downtowns and suburbs? How to attract talent? How to create cleaner and smarter industry clusters? What is the new definition of a smart city?

There will be a press tour on Sept 30 where DTE Energy and Itron will take members of the media to discover smart city projects to show how Detroit is transforming into a smarter city.

The summit officially begins on Oct 1 with a welcome address by Cisco Systems Director Gordon Feller, who is also the co-founder of Meeting of the Minds.

Following the welcome address, urban policy expert and The Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson will speak about “Why Detroit Is a Powerful Backdrop for a Discussion on the Future of Cities.”

Another important session in the morning will focus on how urban entrepreneurs are launching and scaling up despite red tape.

A panel on how city-regions can attract and retain urban talent will discuss everything from the role of talent in revitalizing cities to the current situation in Detroit and other cities where there’s a disconnect between significant job growth in 21st century jobs and populations that do not have the tools to access these emerging careers.

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Director of Public Affairs Anthony Flint and Rob van Gijzel, Major of Eindhoven, The Netherlands, will talk about turnarounds and remaking legacy cities.

The post-lunch breakout session on the first day includes eight different workshop tours to demonstrate everything from small-scale revitalization to launching and building an innovation economy, demolitions and green infrastructure strategies, retrofitting legacy infrastructure and smart city solutions.

Sessions on the second day include a discussion on the power of the Internet of Everything – How city services become city solutions. There are also panels on the coming revolution of small-scale urban industrial development, resiliency challenges, innovations in city service delivery, open data, and more.

What – Meeting of the Minds Summit

When – Sept 30-Oct 2, 2014

Where – The College for Creative Studies, 460 W. Baltimore Ave., Detroit, MI

Michigan Economic Development Corp Launches Placemaking Initiative Backed by Crowdfunding

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with several other organizations, has launched an innovative placemaking initiative funded through a combination of crowdfunding and matching grants.

Crowdfunding MI

Crowdfunding MI (photo – crowdfundingmi.com)

The Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort involving the MEDC, crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Michigan Municipal League.

Local residents will be able to be a part of transformational projects in their communities, supported with a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“Innovative placemaking efforts help create thriving, sustainable and unique places where workers, entrepreneurs, and businesses want to locate, invest and expand,” said Governor Rick Snyder.

A platform has been created (www.crowdfundingmi.com) where projects submitted by communities, non-profits and businesses will seek online crowdfunding pledges from the project’s supporters, residents and community members.

Projects must focus on things such as outdoor plaza or park enhancements that activate public spaces and capture public awareness and momentum.

Any project which meets its fundraising goals on the platform will then be eligible to receive a matching grant of up to $100,000 from the MEDC.

This is the first program of its kind in the nation involving a state agency. Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the MEDC, said that Public Spaces Community Places is a new tool that communities can use for creating vibrant public spaces with the potential to bring new vitality to the community and serve as a catalyst for additional economic activity.

Finney added that this was a great way to leverage the pride residents and businesses have in their communities.

The website for the platform was designed by the Michigan Municipal League as a one-stop resource for the crowdfunding needs of Michigan communities, businesses and investors. Projects may be submitted starting July 9, 2014 through Patronicity.

Michigan Municipal League Executive Director and CEO Daniel Gilmartin said they believe this program will inspire and assist communities of all shapes and sizes take on and complete projects they could previously only dream about.

Patronicity Founder and CEO Chris Blauvelt said that through crowdfunding, MEDC is empowering everyday citizens to have a dramatic impact on their communities.

The MEDC has chosen Midtown Detroit Inc.’s Green Alley Project as a pilot project for the program. This is a $200,000 project which has already secured a $100,000 grant. Midtown Detroit will seek to raise $50,000 through crowdfunding to transform the 415-foot alley with enhancements such as a new design to promote walkability and community connectivity, and green infrastructure upgrades that reduce the burden of storm water on the city’s sewer system.

If they are successful at raising the $50,000 target through crowdfunding, then the remaining $50,000 will be provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Midtown Detroit Inc. President Susan T. Mosey thinks it’s doable, noting that the idea of creating something sustainable and impactful for the community out of something so blighted has really resonated in the Midtown community.

Michigan Approves $1.5M Economic Development Incentives for Projects Creating 292 Jobs

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a total of $1.47 million in grants for three projects in West Michigan.

Jobs in the Comeback State

Jobs in the Comeback State (photo – michiganbusiness.org)

One of the grant recipients is WKW Roof Rail Systems, LLC, which is a subsidiary of WKW Erbsloeh North America, Inc., which in turn is a subsidiary of Wuppertal, Germany-based WKW.automotive.

The newly established WKW Roof Rail Systems is purchasing the former Toyota Tsusho America facility in the City of Battle Creek, MI, and plans to use the facility to manufacture aluminum roof rail systems for the automotive market.

WKW Roof Rail Systems is investing $23 million into the project, and will create 186 new jobs in Battle Creek. Michigan and another site in Alabama were both competing for this project.

The company chose Michigan in part due to the $950,000 performance-based grant offered by the state under the Michigan Business Development Program. The City of Battle Creek is additionally offering local incentives in the form of a property tax abatement.

WKW.automotive CEO Peter Kruft said that they appreciated the valuable support provided by the State of Michigan, including Gov. Rick Snyder and other involved authorities, when the company presented their future planning.

Gov. Snyder had met with WKW executives in Germany when he led a delegation of Michigan economic development officials and government leaders on an investment mission to Europe earlier this year.

The Governor and the Michigan delegation toured WKW-Group’s aluminum billet production plant in Velbert. A few months before that, the WKW-Group had bought Portage, MI-based Bowers Manufacturing to extend its reach into the U.S. aluminum extrusion business which is a core process in the automotive sector.

The Michigan delegation knew the company was looking for a second production facility in the U.S. for manufacturing aluminum roof rail systems, and made the case for Michigan as a smart business location for growing a manufacturing company and creating jobs.

MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney said the Governor’s meeting with WKW executives underscored their strong relationship with the company and demonstrated that Michigan is more business friendly than ever.

The second project approved for a state grant was an expansion by Cascade Die Casting Group Inc. in the Village of Sparta and Gaines Township. The company is investing $5.3 million and plans to create 50 jobs. Michigan was competing with another site in North Carolina for this project, and secured it by offering the company a $275,000 performance-based grant.

The third company getting a state grant is Livermore, CA-based solar equipment manufacturer SolarBOS, which had been looking for a site for a new manufacturing facility closer to its customers in the east and southeast.

A $250,000 performance-based grant helped secure this project for the City of Walker, MI over competing sites in Ohio, North Carolina and California. SolarBOS will now invest $884,000 to establish the new facility in Walker, and will create up to 56 new jobs.

Detroit Economic Development Projects Get $28M NMTC Allocation

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced a new round of $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) awards.

New Markets Tax Credit

New Markets Tax Credit

The 87 recipients are spread across 32 states and the District of Columbia. Invest Detroit has been allocated $28 million for investing in Detroit economic development projects.

The NMTC allocation provided to Invest Detroit will be invested on the M-1 Rail project and associated economic development in the downtown and mid-town areas, and also on commercial and small business development in Detroit neighborhoods.

“We are extremely pleased to have received this award at such a critical time for Detroit’s revitalization,‚Äù said Invest Detroit President David Blaszkiewicz.

The other Michigan-based CDE allocated tax credit authority under the NMTC Program is the Great Lakes Capital Fund located in Lansing, MI. Great Lakes Capital Fund is getting a $35 million allocation for projects to revitalize neighborhoods.

“Thanks to this year’s New Markets Tax Credit allocation, we will be able to invest in high-impact projects that create jobs and leverage further community development,‚Äù said Great Lakes Capital Fund CEO Mark McDaniel.

U.S. Senator for Michigan Carl Levin said this announcement is good news for economic development across Michigan.

Senator Levin added that by attracting private investment capital to projects and areas that are in greatest need, these awards help create jobs and opportunity and bolster important public investments including projects such as the M-1 Rail.

Amias Gerety, Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, said that the NMTC Program provides critical investments and creates jobs in low-income neighborhoods across the nation.

Gerety added that NMTC is often the most critical piece of the puzzle when trying to finance important economic development projects across the country.

The 87 organizations selected to receive NMTC awards were chosen from a pool of 310 applicants. Around 75 percent ($2.575 billion) of the total $3.5 billion in allocations will be used to finance and support loans or investments into businesses in low-income communities.

CDFI Fund Acting Director Dennis Nolan said the NMTC Program is clearly targeting economic development in communities that critically need financing to help create new business and jobs and affordable housing.

See the NMTC Program Award Book for a complete listing of the 87 organizations chosen to receive NMTC allocations – Download (pdf)

Michigan Economic Development Incentives Secure Projects With 881 Jobs

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved incentives for three economic development projects that will bring $350 million in investments and create 881 new jobs in the state.

Challenge Mfg. Co. in Michigan

Challenge Mfg. Co. in Michigan (photo – challenge-mfg.com)

Gov. Rick Snyder said these projects cover a range of industries and technologies and assure strong economic opportunities for Michigan businesses and citizens.

One of the companies awarded state funding is Walker, MI-based Challenge Mfg. Company, an automotive supplier who is planning a $50 million project in the City of Pontiac.

Challenge Mfg. Co. will establish new assembly operations and construct a 400,000-square-foot facility. It is estimated that this project will create 450 new jobs.

The company already has four facilities in West Michigan with a combined workforce of more than 2,000. This includes an expansion announced in March 2013 which called for the addition of 180 new jobs. At that time, Michigan approved a $1 million performance-based grant, which the company has fully received after exceeding their job creation commitments well in advance of the schedule.

For this latest $50 million project with 450 new jobs, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. is offering Challenge Mfg. Co. a $2.5 million performance-based grant. The state incentives helped secure the project for Michigan, which was competing for it along with an alternative site in Ontario.

The City of Pontiac provided additional local incentives in the form of brownfield tax increment financing reimbursement. This was very useful because the site where Challenge Mfg. Co. is building its new facility formerly housed the General Motors Pontiac Assembly Plant that was shut down in 2009.

The second project which has been approved for MSF assistance is the fairlife, LLC expansion. To be specific, the City of Coopersville is getting $2.4 million in CDBG grant funding that will used for making infrastructure improvements required to facilitate the fairlife project.

fairlife, a producer of dairy-based healthy beverages such as Core Power and fairlife purely nutritious milk, is adding two new bottling lines and new machinery at its facility in Coopersville. This is a $96.3 million expansion that is expected to create 100 jobs.

The City of Coopersville is pitching in with $384,000 for the infrastructure improvements.

The third project is the establishment of an environment-friendly “Green Box” waste-processing system with facilities in Detroit and Cheboygan by Green Box NA Michigan, LLC. This is a $200 million project, wherein the company will collect waste from the restaurant industry in the Detroit metropolitan area and pre-process it in the new Detroit facility.

The balls and pellets of waste will then be transported to the Cheboygan facility which will recycle the waste to produce usable consumer products, biofuels, fuel pellets and soil enhancements.

The project is expected to create 331 jobs across both the facilities combined. The Green Box system eliminates an estimated 22.7 million cubic feet of annual landfill dumping.

In order to assist this project, the state has approved an inducement resolution that allows for issuance of $125 million in private activity bonds to fund the project.

Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said that these projects will help strengthen and revitalize Michigan communities and will help growing companies generate new job opportunities.

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