Michigan Governor’s Economic Development Trip to Germany Nets 3D Printer Manufacturer

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who is visiting Italy and Germany with a delegation of economic development officials, announced that German 3D printer manufacturer voxeljet AG will establish its first U.S. facility in Canton, MI.


Photo – voxeljet

Gov. Snyder said that voxeljet’s decision is good news that underscores Michigan’s attractiveness to leading-edge global companies.

voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer said the decision to locate their first U.S. service center in Michigan was based on the site’s proximity to potential customers in the Midwest region that make up a significant part of the U.S. automobile industry and its supply chain.

The company makes industrial 3D printing systems for a diverse range of industries, but the auto industry is the heaviest user of their 3D printing technology.

Dr. Ederer said they have extensive experience serving the 3D printing needs of European automakers, and now look forward to serving U.S. manufacturers.

The voxeljet service center in Canton is expected to be operational by the third quarter of this year, and will create 15-20 high tech manufacturing jobs.

Accompanying Gov. Snyder on the trip are Senior Automotive Adviser Nigel Francis and Michigan Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Michael A. Finney, along with other MEDC officials and representatives from local economic development agencies such as the Detroit Regional Chamber, Southwest Michigan First of Kalamazoo, and Right Place Inc. of Grand Rapids.

Francis said that German and Italian companies are significant investors and employers in Michigan’s automotive economy. He said that the Michigan delegation’s mission message for the trip is that Michigan has everything you need to succeed if you are in the auto industry and looking to invest or expand in North America.

Michigan is home to more than 350 German companies and over 40 Italian companies. These companies employ around 72,000 employees in the state, including a large concentration of high-wage jobs in the advanced automotive manufacturing and R&D sectors.

Apart from voxeljet, Gov. Snyder and the MI delegation also met with ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which has its North American headquarters in Northville, MI and employs more than 1,350 people in the state.

The delegation will also meet with other German companies including Heller Group, Eissmann Automotive Deutschland GmbH, WKW Walter Klein GmbH & Co. KG, and MANN+HUMMEL GmbH.

Gov. Snyder said the marketplace today is global and in order to stay competitive, they have to be aggressive in reaching out to world-class companies and continue their push to create more and better jobs for Michiganders.

Michigan Economic Development Corp Funds Projects Creating 406 Jobs

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has approved community revitalization and business development incentives for projects that will generate a total of 406 new jobs and $133.6 million in capital investments.

Jobs in the Comeback State

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

Gov. Rick Snyder said Michigan is America’s Comeback State and these projects add to the growing momentum.

Gov. Snyder said these new investments will strengthen communities, spur new commercial investment in cities, and fuel new opportunities for Michigan’s talented workforce.

One of the main projects in this lot receiving Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) assistance is BorgWarner Inc.’s expansion project at its Powertrain Technical Center in Auburn Hills, MI. The company will invest $11 million and create up to 200 jobs.

Michigan was competing with other sites in several states, and the project was secured by offering BorgWarner a $3.2 million Michigan Business Development Program grant. Auburn Hills is offering additional local incentives in the form of property tax abatement.

The M1 Rail project in Detroit is getting a $10 million loan. The three-mile streetcar project has 11 proposed stops that will strategically connect to other transit options. The project is expected to create 41 permanent jobs and capital investment worth around $130 to $140 million.

A $4.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan has been awarded to the Grand Rapids Arena Place Development in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. This proposed mixed-use high-rise development will generate $44 million in capital investment and 65 jobs.

The demolition project of Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena has been awarded $6 million in economic assistance under the community revitalization program.

The demolition is part of a larger public-private project involving the State of Michigan, Detroit economic development agencies and private developers together building a new $450 million events center and ancillary private development worth $200 million on the Detroit waterfront.

Another project the MEDC greenlighted is a brownfield redevelopment in the City of Ferndale, MI. The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority in Ferndale needs $717,829 to redevelop a vacant downtown building into an industrial space to be used by Brass Aluminum Forging.

The company expects to create 50 jobs at the new facility and will be investing $8.6 million. Other tenants in the building may add up to 50 more jobs.

MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney said these projects will help in strengthening and revitalizing Michigan communities and grow companies that are generating new job opportunities.

Michigan Economic Development Corp. Funding For Projects Creating 1444 Jobs

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced funding for economic development and community revitalization projects that will create 1,444 new jobs and generate a combined $362 million in capital investment.

MEDC creating jobs

MEDC creating jobs (photo – michiganbusiness.org)

Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval of an inducement resolution has been cleared for Michigan State University for a $100 million bond to build the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB).

This $600 million project has also received funded from the federal government, and the bond issue will provide the required community share of the funding. MSU estimates that 5,000 construction jobs while be created while FRIB is being built, and 400 new full-time jobs thereafter.

Another project that received MEDC funding approval is the proposed TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE: AMTD) technology center in the City of Ann Arbor, MI. The company will invest up to $3 million into this project, which is expected to create 50 new jobs.

TD Ameritrade was also looking at sites in Nebraska, Illinois and New Jersey for the technology center. MEDC sealed the deal with the help of a $500,000 performance-based grant offered under the Michigan Business Development Program. The City of Ann Arbor is offering additional local incentives for workforce recruitment.

German Automotive supplier Eberspaecher is getting a $4.5 million Michigan Business Development Program grant for an expansion of its facility in the City of Brighton. The company is also getting a grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Economic Development Fund, and a property tax abatement has been offered by Brighton. Eberspaecher North America, Inc. plans to invest $122 million and create 545 new jobs.

MRO services provider Kalitta Air, LLC plans to build a new airplane hangar at the Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda Charter Township. The project requires a $9.7 million investment and will create 200 new jobs. Kalitta has been approved for a $2 million state grant, and Oscoda Charter Township is offering tax increment financing (TIF) worth an estimated $2.3 million over a 29-year period.

Michigan Community Revitalization Program (MCRP) incentives have been approved for three renovation and redevelopment projects. Ashley Owner, LLC is getting a $1 million grant for renovating the historic Milner Hotel in Detroit. The Strathmore Hotel renovation project in Detroit is getting a $3.5 million equity contribution. Midland DTH LLC is getting a $4.8 million loan for a mixed-use redevelopment project in Midland.

Two companies – McLaren Performance Technologies, Inc. and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc., were approved for enhancements to existing job creation tax credits.

Apart from all these projects, MSF also approved more than $7 million in funding for infrastructure improvement projects in 14 Michigan communities under the Downtown Infrastructure Grant (DIG) program. Details of these community grants will be released later this week.

Advanced Manufacturing Institutes Awarded to Chicago, IL and Canton, MI

The U.S. has awarded $70 million each in federal funding for establishing advanced manufacturing institutes to Chicago, Illinois and Canton, Michigan.

Digital Lab, Chicago, IL

Digital Lab, Chicago, IL (photo – uilabs.org)

The funding, awarded through a competitive process, will add two more manufacturing institutes to the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

The Chicago-based institute, awarded to a public-private partnership initiative called UI Labs, is officially known as Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI), but it’s already better known as the Digital Lab.

The Canton-based institute will be led by EWI and will be known as the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I).

DMDI and LM3I join the Youngstown, OH-based America Makes (NAMII) and the recently announced Next Generation Power Electronics National Manufacturing Innovation Institute at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

The Department of Defense is putting up $50 million each for DMDI and LM3I, with the remaining $20 million coming from other federal agencies.

The private sector companies, organizations and universities that are a part of each consortium are expected to raise at least $70 million in matching funds.

UI Labs, which was launched as a public-private partnership in Illinois, has already received commitments for more than $250 million from over 570 members of the consortium.

The consortium includes the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and also World Business Chicago.

Apart from the Chicago and Illinois economic development organizations, the UI Labs consortium also includes agencies from other states, including the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade; Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development; Nebraska Department of Economic Development; and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said this announcement is part of his vision to make Illinois the capital of high-tech manufacturing, and provides more proof that Illinois is making a comeback.

DMDI is expected to spur the creation of thousands of advanced manufacturing jobs, generate billions of dollars of economic impact, and accelerate new product development and commercialization, helping U.S. companies become globally competitive.

U.S. Representative Bill Enyart said the consortium assembled by UI Labs will ensure that Illinois will be on the cutting edge of the next generation of manufacturing.

Sen. Dick Durbin said the new Digital Lab has the potential to revolutionize the way the U.S. approaches manufacturing, and a major effort will be centered in Illinois.

The Canton-based LM3I in Metro Detroit will be led by the Ohio-based EWI, and will bring together a consortium of 60 members from the private sector and academia who are working on lightweight metals and technology with applications in aviation, automobiles and other industries.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will provide $10 million as part of the matching funds required under the federal funding award. The State of Ohio and other consortium members will add to the funding to raise a total of $78 million, making this a $148 million institute.

The University of Michigan, which is a part of the consortium, expects LM3I to help create more than 10,000 jobs in the region over the next five years.

Read more about the DoD-led manufacturing institutes at manufacturing.gov.

UVL Migration Study Has Good News For Oregon, Michigan

United Van Lines, a UniGroup, Inc. subsidiary and the largest mover in the United States, has released its 37th Annual Migration Study that tracks which states its customers have been moving from and to during the last year.


United Van Lines Migration Study

United Van Lines Migration Study

Oregon replaces D.C. at the top of the list in 2013 with 61 percent of moves associated with the state being inbound ones.

D.C. fell out of favor and took a steep dive after being at the top of the list for inbound migration for five consecutive years.

Oregon was followed by the Carolinas with South Carolina at 60 percent and North Carolina at 58 percent. The District of Columbia and South Dakota at 57 percent were right behind the Carolinas.

Inbound moves accounted for 56 percent in Texas, and Colorado scored 55 percent.

Michael Stoll, professor and chair of public policy at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, said in a statement issued by UVL that business incentives, relatively lower costs of living and industrial growth are attracting people and jobs to the southeastern and western states.

Stoll said the Pacific Northwest was benefiting from continued migration as retirees and young professionals are drawn to green spaces, public transit, and the local arts and entertainment scene.

The pattern of an exodus from the Northeast hasn’t been stemmed. New Jersey (64 percent), New York (61 percent) and Connecticut (59 percent) all rank among the top five states with the highest levels of outbound migration. The other two in the top five are Illinois (61 percent) and West Virginia (60 percent).

The best news in the study was for Michigan, which seems to have finally stemmed the rot after 16 years of migration deficits. Michigan has been moved to “balanced,” which means around the same number moved in as moved out of the state.

Stoll noted that Michigan was moved into the balanced category because of an improvement in its economy over the past two years. Despite having an unemployment rate that’s higher than the national average, home sales and home prices are up, per capita income is up, and the Detroit automakers are hiring.

Apart from Michigan, other states on the balanced list include Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska and Tennessee.

GM Announces $1.3B Investment in MI, OH, IN Plants

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) announced an investment of nearly $1.3 billion across five manufacturing locations in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana that will help create and retain 1,000 jobs.

GM's $1.3B investments in MI, OH, IN

GM’s $1.3B investments in MI, OH, IN (photo – gm.com)

The investments are being made to produce fuel-efficient engines and transmissions, streamline logistics and enhance vehicle quality.

This latest announcement brings GM’s investment in its U.S. facilities in 2013 to $2.8 billion.

Since 2009, GM has announced a total of $10.1 billion in investments for its U.S. operations, in the process creating and retaining more than 26,500 jobs.

The breakup of the latest investment in Michigan is as follows:-

Flint Assembly Plant, Flint, MI – $600 million

Romulus Powertrain Operations, Romulus, MI – $493.4 million

Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Detroit, MI – $121 million

The Flint Assembly Plant will get facility upgrades, including a paint shop. The Romulus Powertrain facility is getting $343.4 million for new equipment to produce an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, and another $150 million to add capacity for a V6 engine. The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly is getting a new logistics optimization center.

This brings GM’s total 2013 investment in the Flint Assembly Plant to $815 million. Investments announced for the Romulus Powertrain Operations this year add up to $498.4 million, and Detroit has received $121 million.

The Bedford Castings facility in Indiana is getting $22.6 million for producing components for the aforementioned new 10-speed transmission, and another $6.6 million for producing components for an existing six-speed transmission.

The Toledo Transmission Operations in Ohio is getting $30.6 million to add capacity for a six-speed transmission and tooling for a new variant.

Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president and North America president, said GM is committed to a strong American manufacturing base and creating jobs in dozens of communities throughout the country. More importantly, said Reuss, these investments add up to a higher quality and more fuel-efficient vehicles for GM customers.

UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who leads the union’s GM Department, said this announcement was a win for American workers.

He said the UAW was proud to be a part of this successful collaboration with GM that has helped rebuild the nation’s economy, created good paying union jobs in communities across the country, and brought manufacturing that had been moved overseas back to the U.S.

CAR Report – Economic Benefits of the Auto Bailout

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based non-profit Center for Automotive Research (CAR) has released a report which aims to pinpoint the value to the U.S. economy, in terms of jobs and tax revenue, of the federal bailout of GM and Chrysler.

General Motors

General Motors (Photo – america.gov)

They considered two scenarios – one in which the collapse of GM in Jan 2009 would lead to a wider collapse of the U.S. automotive supplier and auto parts manufacturing sector, and another scenario which considers only the loss of GM employment.

Highlights from the report:-

- An industry-wide shutdown trigged by GM and Chrysler’s shutdown would have reduced U.S. employment by 2.631 million jobs in 2009 and 1.519 million jobs in 2010. This includes 238,000 automaker jobs in 2009 (90 percent of industry automaker employment) and 142,000 in 2010.

- A GM-only shutdown scenario would have reduced U.S. jobs by 1.196 million jobs in 2009 and 674,359 jobs in 2010.

Assuming the net cost of the bailout in U.S. Treasury funds is $13.7 billion ($11.8 billion in unrecovered funds from GM and another $1.9 billion loss at Chrysler), the U.S. government saved $105.3 billion under the industry-wide shutdown scenario. These savings are in the form of transfer payments that would otherwise have been required, and from the reduced personal and social insurance tax collections.

Under the GM-only shutdown scenario, the U.S. saves $39.4 billion (334 percent of the projected $11.8 billion in unrecovered funds from GM).

Coinciding with the CAR report’s release, the U.S. Treasury sold its last remaining General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) shares, and ended up recovering a total of $39 billion out of the $49.5 billion it paid out, resulting in a net loss of $10.5 billion.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement that continued investments, innovation, and job creation are just some of the returns of a healthy GM and domestic auto industry.

The report notes that CAR projections show the lost employment would have recovered by 2011 or thereafter even without government intervention. However, the report also says much of this employment would have shifted to the southern United States where the international auto makers are based.

The effect of this job relocation on Michigan and other Midwest states would have been severe.

The report also notes the adverse impact of around 600,000 lost or reduced retiree pensions and health benefits. A majority of GM and Chrysler retirees live in the Midwest states and in retiree states such as Florida and Arizona.

The shutdowns would also have resulted in the permanent loss of automotive research, product development and tooling which would not have been relocated from Michigan to the south, since the international auto makers largely handle pre-production activities in their home countries.

Dr. Sean McAlinden, CAR’s chief economist, who led the analysis, said that CAR is confident that in the years ahead, this peacetime intervention in the private sector by the U.S. government will be viewed as one of the most successful interventions in U.S. economic history.

Read the full CAR report on the “Effect on the U.S. Economy of the Successful Restructuring of General Motors” – Download (pdf)

GM Investing $24M to Generate Electricity from Landfill Gas

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) announced that it will make a $24 million investment on electrical generation equipment that will allow the company to generate its own electricity from landfill gas for use in GM assembly plants in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Orion, Michigan.

GM landfill gas investment in Orion, MI and Fort Wayne, IN

GM landfill gas investment in Orion, MI and Fort Wayne, IN (photo – gm.com)

The investment will be used to build a powerhouse at each facility, and to install electricity generation equipment. This makes GM the first North American automaker to generate its own electricity.

The excess gas flare that would normally escape into the air is instead being redirected back into the facility for creating electricity that will power the manufacturing operations.

Bill Mortimer, GM co-generation project manager, said that with this project in place, GM is converting landfill gas into electricity for their own use, which in essence allows them to act as their own utility.

He added that it not only saves on energy costs, but also limits the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere.

The new equipment will help GM generate more than 14MW of renewable energy, reducing the company’s annual emissions by 89,000 metric tons of CO2 – equivalent to taking 18,542 cars off the road. GM will save $10 million each year in energy costs for both plants combined.

Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy, said GM has made a commitment to increase their use of renewable energy to 125MW by 2020. He noted that this expansion represents more than 10 percent of that goal.

The Orion Assembly Plant has been using landfill gas since 1999. At present, it uses the gas to heat a paint shop. Once the power plant and the other new electricity generation equipment is installed, a full 54 percent of the Orion plant’s energy consumption will be fulfilled by the electricity produced from landfill gas.

The Fort Wayne Assembly Plant has likewise been using landfill gas since 2002. Installation of the new equipment will increase the use of landfill gas at the plant to 40 percent.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative Launched in Detroit

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative has been launched in Detroit as a $20 million partnership to offer small businesses access to capital, support services, and business and management education.

Gov. Rick Snyder at 10,000 Small Businesses launch in Detroit

Gov. Rick Snyder at 10,000 Small Businesses launch in Detroit (photo – Gov. Snyder)

Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, was joined at the launch event in Detroit by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. Also present were Warren Buffett and Dr. Michael Porter – the initiative’s Advisory Council co-chairs.

Goldman Sachs will provide $15 million in lending capital to support small business in Detroit and the region. The funding will be provided to Invest Detroit Foundation and Detroit Development Fund, who will in turn offer loans to small businesses.

Goldman Sachs launched 10,000 Small Businesses in Nov 2009 as a $500 million program. This includes a $200 million outlay from Goldman Sachs for the educational component of the program, and another $300 million in loans and grants.

The program begins in Detroit in March 2014. It is already active in other U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Cleveland and Long Beach.

Small businesses in six other states (Kentucky, Virginia, Washington, Tennessee, Oregon and Montana) also have access to capital under this program. The initiative has also been launched separately in the United Kingdom.

Under the education component of the program, Goldman Sachs sponsors business and management education for small business owners at local community colleges and other educational institutions.

The program has a 99 percent graduation rate, and 76 percent of the graduates engage with each other in some form of business. A full 63 percent of participants reported an increase in business revenue six months after graduation, and 47 percent have created new jobs after graduating.

In Detroit, a consortium of educational institutions including Oakland Community College, Macomb Community College and Wayne State University will be delivering the program, and will work with local organizations to encourage small businesses to participate. You can find out more at 10ksbdetroit.com.

Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein said that with the practical business education and the capital provided under the program, Detroit’s small business owners have a much better chance of growing their business and contributing towards the city’s economic recovery.

Mayor Bing said small business owners are a critical part of Detroit’s comeback, and the significant technical and financial assistance that will be provided to businesses under this initiative is proof of how partnerships are playing a major role in Detroit’s transformation.

Gov. Snyder said small businesses were vitally important to Michigan’s economic comeback and Detroit’s turnaround, and added that he was excited by the 10,000 Small Businesses collaboration, possibilities and opportunities.

Detroit Renewable Energy To Supply Waste Recycled Energy For GM PLant

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM)and Detroit Renewable Energy are teaming up for a renewable energy project to turn municipal waste in Detroit, Michigan into steam that will be used to heat and cool the GM Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

GM Detroit-Hamtramck Steam Project

DRE, GM Detroit-Hamtramck Steam Project (photo – gm.com)

Once the project is operational, 58 percent of the plant’s energy requirements will be fulfilled from renewable energy sources.

This will make the Detroit-Hamtramck plant the biggest user (by percentage) of renewable energy among all GM facilities worldwide.

The steam pipe will provide 15.8MW of renewable energy. GM has an overall goal of putting 125MW of renewable energy into its portfolio by 2020.

The steam generated at Detroit Renewable Power’s waste recycling plant will travel through 8,300 feet of pipe before reaching the GM plant.

The cost of the project was not disclosed, but the construction of the steam pipeline and the associated energy infrastructure is set to begin this month. The project will be operational and will start providing renewable energy to Detroit-Hamtramck by next spring.

Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy, said General Motors has 107 landfill-free facilities around the world that reuse or recycle their waste, and some of it gets converted into energy.

Threlkeld said it made sense for them to pursue this project with DRE at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant since DRE’s quality work is already helping GM manage energy use at other plants.

Hamtramck Energy Services, which is a part of Detroit Renewable Energy LLC, operates private industrial steam plants and waste water treatment plants at seven GM facilities.

The Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority (GDRRA) supplies Detroit Renewable Power LLC with the municipal waste from Metro Detroit that goes into the energy-from-waste plant.

DRE Chairman and CEO Steven White said they have a have a long history working with GM, providing energy for the company’s assembly plants. He said incorporating a renewable and sustainable energy source into Detroit-Hamtramck makes for a significant addition to the value chain.

Detroit Renewable processes more than a million tons of municipal solid waste into steam and electric power, and also annually recycles about 40,000 tons of metal.

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