Michigan Project Announcements by Ford, FCA US, Duo Security

Three major project economic development announcements are in the spotlight in Michigan today, including large investments by Ford and FCA US in the state’s automotive sector.


Michigan (photo – andyphelan45/flickr)

First up, Ford announced that it is investing $1.6 billion to upgrade two of its manufacturing facilities in Michigan and Ohio.

The $1.4 billion investment in Livonia Transmission Plant and $200 million investment in Ohio Assembly Plant are part of Ford’s $9 billion commitment made in their recent UAW-Ford collective bargaining agreement to continue investing in Ford’s U.S. plants.

Ford’s latest investment creates or retains 500 hourly jobs in Michigan at Livonia Transmission Plant to build a new 10-speed transmission. The Livonia Transmission Plant employs more than 1,550 people. The investment and 150 hourly jobs at Ohio Assembly Plant, located in Avon Lake, will be used to build Super Duty chassis cab. The Ohio Assembly Plant employs more than 1,650 people.

Ford has committed to 2,800 U.S. jobs in the past five months, and has invested $12 billion in its U.S. plants and created a total of nearly 28,000 U.S. jobs in the past five years.

The second major announcement was by FCA US, which announced today that it will invest $74.7 million in its Trenton Engine Complex in Michigan to retool the north plant to produce the next generation four-cylinder engine, retaining 245 jobs. The engine will provide increased power, while improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions.

Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America, said in a statement that “This investment in our flexible production line at Trenton North will allow us to quickly ramp up North American production of this new fuel-efficient engine.”

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. Since 2009, FCA US has announced investments of more than $2 billion in Michigan and added nearly 15,600 new jobs, bringing total employment in the state to 35,314 people.

The third jobs announcement for the day in Michigan comes courtesy of Ann Arbor economic development group SPARK, which announced an expansion by Duo Security, Inc. This project is expected to generate nearly $2.5 million in total investment and support the creation of up to 300 direct Michigan jobs over the next three years.

Duo Security first established its Ann Arbor technology facility in 2009. Citing the technology environment, attractive business climate, and highly qualified talent pool, the company chose to invest in its Ann Arbor headquarter operations over competing sites.

The Michigan Strategic Fund has approved a $2.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The MSF board approves grants and loans administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which promotes economic development opportunities including retaining and attracting business to the state.

Ann Arbor SPARK provided direct support to Duo in working with the state on its application for incentives. Going forward, SPARK will assist with talent recruitment and attraction.

MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood said in a statement that “Duo’s expansion in Michigan rather than Silicon Valley means excellent, well-paying jobs for Michigan residents and underscores the strength of the talent in the state’s technology sector.”

Michigan Economic Development Delegation in Europe for Hannover Messe

Governor Rick Snyder is in Europe, leading an investment mission focused on strengthening trade relationships and attracting job-creating business investments.

Hannover Messe, Germany

Hannover Messe, Germany (photo – EnergieAgentur.NRW)

The Governor will attend the opening event of Hannover Messe today. This is the world’s largest industrial technology trade fair taking place in Hannover, Germany from April 25-29. This year marks the first time ever that the United States is a partner country of the fair.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood, Auto Sector Senior Vice President Kevin Kerrigan and other MEDC officials also are part of the delegation, as are representatives from local economic development agencies including the Detroit Regional Chamber and Southwest Michigan First of Kalamazoo.

Gov. Snyder said in a statement that “Hannover Messe is an opportunity to highlight Michigan’s leading position in the U.S. in advanced and high volume manufacturing. It’s also an opportunity to promote our Brainpower campaign as one way we are working to ensure Michigan remains the leader for automotive innovation into the future.”

Apart from the state delegation, leaders from several Michigan companies are traveling to Germany to participate in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s booth at Hannover Messe, where they will have the opportunity to present their companies to potential buyers and meet with government and business leaders.

This mission is being led by Automation Alley, and the companies participating in the mission are – EPIC Translations (Canton); JAAN Technologies (Sterling Heights); Len & Jerry’s/OmnicO AGV (Clinton Township); Managed Programs (Auburn Hills); Menawat & Co. (Saline); Mobile Computing Solutions (Sterling Heights); Power Panel (Detroit); and The SearchLite (Ann Arbor).

MEDC CEO Steve Arwood said in the release that “Diverse industries and ease of entry into other European Union countries provide an excellent opportunity for Michigan companies to increase their exports.”

As part of this investment mission, the Governor will also travel to Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands. Gov. Snyder will be in Switzerland on Tuesday, where he will meet with business executives and government officials and visit a leading training facility. He will then travel to Italy to meet with executives from automotive supply chain companies, before wrapping up his trip on Friday in the Netherlands, where he will meet with Dutch government officials and educators.

In the last fiscal year, companies assisted by MEDC’s International Trade Program reported $342.1 million in sales. “These investment missions have opened doors with business leaders in other countries, resulting in good jobs for Michigan residents now and for years to come,” said Gov. Snyder.

TD Ameritrade Expansion in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Create 75 Jobs Related to Stock Trading Software

Financial services firm ThinkTech, Inc., a technology subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: AMTD), is expanding its operations in Ann Arbor, MI.

TD Ameritrade Park

TD Ameritrade (photo – Skinzfan23/wikimedia)

Supported by Ann Arbor SPARK and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the company will open a new high-tech financial services office in Ann Arbor to develop stock trading software.

This high-profile Ann Arbor economic development project will generate up to $5.75 million in total capital investment and create 75 new jobs.

Marv Adams, executive vice president and chief operating officer, TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, said in a statement that “The city of Ann Arbor has a flourishing technology and business community that we want to continue benefiting from and contributing to.”

ThinkTech chose Ann Arbor and Michigan for this project over competing sites in New Jersey, Nebraska and Illinois. In order to secure it, MEDC has announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a $500,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood said in the release that “TD Ameritrade’s investment means Michigan residents will find good job opportunities that could well have gone to other states.”

Ann Arbor SPARK, the public-private economic development partnership working to advance the economy of the Ann Arbor region, has provided assistance to TD Ameritrade since it began to expand in the region, and is currently helping the company recruit new hires.

TD Ameritrade first established its Ann Arbor technology facility in early 2014. It’s worth noting that the company’s new location is in the McKinley Towne Centre in space formerly occupied by Google, which is itself relocating to a new facility in Ann Arbor.

Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, highlighted these moves as signs of a healthy economy. “TD Ameritrade’s new technology location in downtown Ann Arbor is exciting: It means more people working, shopping, and dining in Ann Arbor, which adds to the vibrancy of our community and our economy,” said Krutko. “What’s more, with its move to a new location, there’s now great space on the real estate market that’s ideal for another tech company. This cycle of moving in and moving up is a sign of a healthy economy.”

TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: AMTD) is the holding company of Omaha, NE-based online broker TD Ameritrade. Last year, the company generated $3.247 billion in revenue offering investing and trading services for more than six million funded client accounts that total more than $650 billion in assets.


Ford Dearborn HQ Transformation to House 30,000 Employees in New LEED Certified Green Campus

Ford Motor Company has announced plans to start a once in a generation 10-year project to collocate some 30,000 employees in more than 60 facilities spread across 70 buildings in the Dearborn area into two main campus locations.

Sustainability Showcase Building at Ford Dearborn campus

Sustainability Showcase Building at Ford Dearborn campus (photo – ford.com)

Construction begins this month on this monumental Dearborn economic development project that is expected to involve an investment of around $1.2 billion.

The existing Ford Research and Engineering Center Campus currently houses 12,000 employees. It is being transformed into a product campus to accommodate 24,000 employees in 4.5 million square feet of upgraded work space.

A second campus location, around the current Ford World Headquarters building, will feature a new Ford Credit facility and provide onsite employee services, improved connectivity and enhanced accessibility to the expansive green space that surrounds the building.

Construction of the new product campus begins this month at the Ford Research and Engineering Center. Major work on the second campus around Ford World Headquarters begins in 2021 and is expected to be complete in 2026.

Ford President and CEO Mark Fields said in a statement that “Bringing our teams together in an open, collaborative environment will make our employees’ lives better, speed decision-making and deliver results for both our core and emerging businesses.”

Governor Rick Snyder likewise issued a statement noting that “Ford Motor Co.’s plans to design a centralized, innovative campus makes it a leader not only in the automotive industry, but throughout our entire nation.”

The company’s investment and modernization plans in Michigan are supported by a new Ford-Michigan economic development agreement that combines two previous MEGA agreements while limiting potential tax credit claims by Ford over the next ten years to 40,200 retained jobs. In order to receive the maximum amount available in terms of tax credits, Ford is required to double its investment plans in the state since 2009 to $6.2 billion.

Ford’s Dearborn transformation also includes significant sustainability features, including geothermal heating and cooling, and water-saving technologies such as rainwater capture and automated metering. Increased building insulation, new glazing systems, state-of-the-art lighting and daylighting, and heat recovery will reduce overall energy use in new buildings by approximately 50 percent annually. Overall potable water use will be significantly reduced through advanced water fixture selection, metering and process enhancements.

Not to mention a new zero-waste, zero-energy, zero-water Sustainability Showcase building in the Product Campus that aims to meet Living Building Challenge standards, the highest level of sustainability possible today.

All new construction is planned to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification standards, including sustainable material selection and material ingredient transparency. Ford anticipates that all renovated facilities on both campuses will achieve at a minimum LEED Silver certification.

SmithGroupJJR designed the new campus layout, applying inspiration from tech companies and university campuses. Donna Inch, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Land Development Corporation, noted that “We realize people are our greatest asset, and we are putting them at the heart of our workplace design to create healthy, happy work environments.”

Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores Launches $25M Flint Economic Development Program With Huntington Bank

Huntington Bank CEO Steve Steinour and Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores have announced a comprehensive Flint economic development program to support homeowners, businesses, entrepreneurs and residents of Flint and Genesee County, MI.

FlintNOW Huntington Bank Flint econdev

Photo – huntington.com

To be specific, Huntington Bank, in partnership with Gores’ recently launched FlintNOW Foundation and several other organizations, will provide $25 million as follows:

– $20 million in specialized Small Business Administration (SBA) working capital loans for businesses in Flint. Qualifying small businesses in the community will be able to access SBA loans from $5,000-$5 million, with priority processing and funding, no SBA fees for up to $150,000 in loans funded, and waived bank fees;

– $2 million to fund microlending to small businesses in Flint. This $2 million commitment will be an expansion of Huntington Bank’s Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative launched in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC);

– $2 million in specialized mortgage financing available for home renovations associated with the Flint water crisis, enabling borrowing for renovations and repairs of up to 50 percent of the as-completed value;

– $1 million to provide grants to small businesses in Flint that have been hurt by the water crisis; and

The partnership also includes the launch of a Flint Youth Financial Entrepreneurship Program.

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, who is also CEO of Platinum Equity, was born in Flint. Gores launched FlintNOW back in January as a $10 million campaign to provide short-term relief to victims of the Flint water crisis, to be followed by long-term revitalization of the region’s economy.

In a statement announcing the $25 million partnership with Huntington Bank, Gores said that “I am really proud of Huntington for stepping up in such a substantial way and joining us in this cause. This is exactly the kind of private sector partnership we envisioned when we launched FlintNOW.”

Huntington Bank CEO Steve Steinour added that “As one of the largest banks in Michigan, we are committed to helping Flint emerge from this crisis with a more vibrant and sustainable economy.”

Apart from FlintNOW and Huntington Bank, other organizations that will be involved in facilitating and managing this program include MEDC, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Metro Community Development, Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

MEDC CEO Steve Arwood noted in the release that “The plan to develop Flint’s economy is proceeding on several levels, from seeking corporate investment to finding ways to attract those types of small, uniquely local businesses that are often the bedrock of a downtown or a neighborhood.”

A couple of days ago, MEDC had unveiled an innovative web-based platform to allow companies with purchasing needs to connect with Flint and Genesee County suppliers. The Pure Michigan Business Connect website is a free resource that links Michigan companies with procurement or sales opportunities.

Suppliers located in Flint and Genesee County that are not currently enrolled can now create a free profile in this database, giving them instant access to opportunities to expand their supply chain with more than 200 global purchasers as well as world-class purchasers from all over the state of Michigan.

Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement that “Access creates opportunities. Through this portal, businesses in Flint and Genesee County have a great way to broaden their customer base, identify new markets for their products and services, and elevate their brands.”

It is estimated that since Pure Michigan Business Connect launched, the program has helped generate more than $2.7 billion in revenue for Michigan companies, which translates into approximately 13,600 jobs for Michigan residents.

Brownfield Redevelopment Plan Secures Spartan Motors Expansion in Charlotte, Michigan

Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR) has announced plans to build a new truck assembly plant in Charlotte, MI to produce the Isuzu F-Series truck.

Spartan Motors

Spartan Motors (photo – spartanmotors.com)

On April 19, the company and leaders of Isuzu North America Corporation will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at Spartan’s headquarters in Charlotte to recognize the expanded contract between the two companies, which began in 2011 with Spartan’s assembly of Isuzu N-Series gas trucks.

To support production of the new Isuzu F-Series truck, Spartan will build and add a dedicated 85,000-square-foot plant to its Charlotte campus. Spartan worked closely on this project with both the city of Charlotte and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Daryl Adams, President and CEO, Spartan Motors, said in a statement that “We want to thank our partners at the City of Charlotte and the MEDC for their collaboration and support. We look forward to further expansion of our manufacturing footprint and bringing additional new jobs to Michigan.”

Earlier this month, the Charlotte City Council approved a resolution authorizing the “Spartan Motors Brownfield Redevelopment Plan,” which is actually an adoption of an amendment to Spartan Motors’ existing Brownfield Plan with the City of Charlotte.

The City worked closely with the company on this plan for several months to assist Spartan’s continued redevelopment of the former Care Free Windows site in the Dean Industrial Park area.

Spartan Motors’ plan involves razing the remaining 100,000 square feet of the old Care Free building, and then building an entirely new 80,000-square-foot manufacturing plant on the site. Spartan applied for both Charlotte economic development incentives in the form of tax relief, and state assistance which ensured that Spartan would assemble the Isuzu F-Series truck in Charlotte rather than one of its other out-of-state facilities.

The project will create at least 55 new jobs at Spartan’s Charlotte campus, where the company already employs over 600 people. All told, Spartan employs approximately 1,700 associates at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Indiana, and generated $550 million in sales last year.

Steve Guillaume, Division President, Specialty Vehicles, Spartan Motors, said that “We’re extremely pleased that Isuzu chose Spartan again, as it launches this new product line.”

The City, in consultation with Spartan, MEDC, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), and environmental consulting firm SME, identified that a new ACT 381 Brownfield TIF plan would be the best way to offer local incentives for this project.

As per the Spartan Brownfield Redevelopment Plan, the City will reimburse up to $972,550 generated through a ‘Brownfield TIF’ (tax increment financing plan) back to Spartan. Future taxes after that would be paid as normal and dispersed to the various taxing jurisdictions to which they are owed.

Spartan is seeking a total of $1.67 million in Charlotte economic development tax incentives for this project, so the City will consider an additional tax abatement later this spring to cover the remainder.

Stoneridge Relocating Corporate Headquarters to Novi, Michigan

Stoneridge, Inc. (NYSE: SRI) has announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Novi, MI and expand its presence in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Novi, MI

Novi, MI (photo – investnovi.org)

Supported by Michigan Business Development Program grant, workforce training funding and support from Oakland County, and additional Novi economic development tax incentives, the company will invest $5.2 million to establish its new corporate headquarters and complete the relocation by the third quarter of this year.

The City of Novi and Oakland County stand to gain as many as 70 jobs that will come with the Stoneridge corporate headquarters currently located in Warren, OH. The company also said the move to the new headquarters would provide flexibility to create up to 70 more jobs to support the company’s future growth needs.

Stoneridge said in a statement that they are committed to providing assistance for employees who relocate as well as for those who do not remain with the Company.

The company also pointed out that Stoneridge remains committed to the state of Ohio and will continue to be incorporated in Ohio. Also, their manufacturing facility in Lexington, OH will continue to operate as a global center of its Control Devices business.

Stoneridge currently has approximately 4,100 employees worldwide, and its global footprint includes 27 locations in 12 countries. There will be no impact on any of the locations except the Warren headquarters, and an existing sales office in Novi that will be consolidated with the new corporate headquarters.

Michigan was chosen over competing sites due to its advantages of being an automotive center with access to customers, engineering capabilities and talent.

Jon DeGaynor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stoneridge, said in a statement that the new headquarters location will improve their ability to attract new talent from a larger base to enhance technology innovation capabilities and support additional growth. “The state of Michigan has been a valuable and resourceful partner in helping us take this next step in our goal to drive operating excellence and take our business to a higher level of performance,” added DeGaynor.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) announced that Stoneridge has been awarded a $1.4 million Michigan Business Development Program grant. Oakland County Michigan Works! Will provide talent services and training support valued at $0.7 million. The county is one of over two dozen agencies in Michigan providing free workforce services to businesses and talent at eight locations.

The company has also been offered City of Novi economic development incentives in the form of a property tax abatement.

Founded in Warren, OH in 1965 by D.M. Draime as a one-customer contract manufacturing business serving the automotive market, Stoneridge, Inc. is now a global designer and manufacturer of highly engineered electrical and electronic components, modules and systems for the commercial vehicle, automotive, off-highway and agricultural vehicle markets.

Michigan Action Plan to Make Flint Stronger – More and Better Jobs, Economic Development

Governor Rick Snyder announced that the state has developed comprehensive action plans designed to ensure Flint’s recovery, with different state agencies participating to outline short-term, intermediate and long-term goals to move Flint forward.

Flint, MI Action Plan

Flint, MI Action Plan (photo – michigan.gov)

There are obviously detailed plans focused on improving public health and repairing water supply and infrastructure, but the plan also has state agencies teaming up to come up with goals for education, jobs and economic development.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs no doubt focused on preparing plans for improving public health and infrastructure in Flint.

Coordination between the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED), the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), the Talent Investment Agency (TIA), and Department of Education enabled development of the goals for education, jobs and economic development.

Gov. Snyder said in a statement announcing the plan that many departments have been involved in addressing the immediate crisis in whatever way they could. “At the same time, they have been working on longer-term plans that address Flint’s future prosperity,” said Gov. Snyder. “These action plans lay out our next steps as we continue to work together as one Michigan to solve the challenges residents may face.”

Many of the short-term goals are already in progress, and state agencies are looking to complete intermediate-term goals in the next 60 to 120 days. Long-term objectives will continue to be worked on until finalized.

Short-term goals for Flint economic development:

The Flint Action Team is working with the Mayor’s Flint Recovery Team to attract, retain and expand businesses. They also plan to finalize and announce the $5.5 million Capitol Theater project. The state will also partner with the Flint Riverfront Development Project Team. A Flint leader will be appointed to the MEDC Executive Board of Directors.

A new team will be created to establish an Innovation Hub that will receive state and federal funding. Flint will also apply for federal funding through U.S. HUD/CDBG, Blight remediation, and DOL training/employment funds.

Intermediate-term goals for Flint economic development:

Asses launch effectiveness of the short-term goals, and adjust if necessary to achieve goals for new jobs, workforce training and development. The intermediate goals also include completion of hiring of Flint residents for water resource sites, and hiring of community liaison managers in each of the city’s nine wards.

Long-term goals for Flint economic development:

The key long-term goals for Flint economic development outlined in the state plan include completion of the Hamilton Dam removal and Riverfront Development projects by 2019. The long-term goals also call for launching at least 25 new businesses under the Innovation Hub by the end of 2017.

Another key aspect will be a focus on business retention and growth in Flint by applying for U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and SBA funds. The plan also calls for getting there new affordable housing developments supported by MSHDA underway or completed by Flint developers. Home mortgage lending/financing options will be provided undervalued homes.

Flint will receive assistance in structuring programs, grants and investment capital to create jobs. At least 500 Flint residents will complete training and development by the end of 2017 to achieve long term employment.

The Governor has already signed legislation providing $28 million to immediately help families in Flint with lead testing, treatment and other emergency services, and worked with the state Legislature to secure nearly $67 million as part of a total recommendation of $232 million in state resources.

Ridgway White, president of the Flint-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, noted that “We need the state to do all it can to help Flint recover and rise from this crisis.”

Transformers 5 Will Roll Out in Detroit After Michigan Amends Paramount Incentive Agreement

An amended agreement between Paramount Pictures and the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office has cleared the way for the filming of the next installment of the Transformers series in Detroit.


Transformers (photo – Doug Kline/flickr)

The next Transformers film, which will be “Transformers 5,” is once again being directed by Michael Bay and will again star Mark Wahlberg, who will be reprising his role of Cade Yeager.

The Michigan economic development impact of the film includes an in-state spend of $80 million, along with 850 cast and crew hires, out of which 450 will be Michigan residents, equating to 228 full-time positions. The production also expects to hire 700 extras.

Michigan Film & Digital Media Office Commissioner Jenell Leonard said in a release that “Having one of the highest-profile film franchises created in Michigan is a major economic boost and a testament to the talent of the state’s production community.”

Lee Rosenthal, president of Physical Production at Paramount Pictures, added that “Michigan has been so welcoming of Michael Bay and the ‘Transformers’ movies over the years and we are thrilled to be returning for this next incredible installment.”

But the real story here is about the process that led to Michigan offering $21 million in incentives to secure the filming of Transformers 5 in Detroit.

Back in July, the Michigan Legislature eliminated the film office incentive program, prohibiting the film office from entering into any new agreements. However, the change in law was not retroactive, so agreements with production companies approved before the program was eliminated are being honored.

Paramount had multiple preapproved applications with the Michigan Film Office through which it could access approximately $42 million in eligible incentives for these projects. As per the new and amended agreement, about half of this $42 million has been allocated to support the filming of Transformers 5.

This was possible because the approved Paramount projects had not started production and received the incentives, and state statute allows for these unused funds to be reallocated for qualified productions. While $21 million of the $42 million allocated to other Paramount projects is being shifted to Transformers 5, the remaining half will go back to the state general fund at the end of the fiscal year.

So while Detroit and Michigan are going to benefit from the economic impact of the filming of one of the world’s top film franchises, the deal that landed this film is going to help the state actually save $21 million that it had already agreed to provide as incentives.

This innovative amendment to the agreement with Paramount may have saved the day this time. But what will the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office do when another big-budget production comes around looking for incentives?

Over $1B in State, Federal Funding to Aid Flint Water Crisis Recovery

The Flint water crisis is transitioning into the disaster recovery stage, and over $1 billion in state and federal funding is about to pour into the city and Genesee County to aid economic recovery and provide finance for water infrastructure and long-term development projects.

Flint Water Bill

Flint Water Bill (photo – house.gov)

For starters, the Small Business Administration has approved Gov. Rick Snyder’s request for low-interest disaster loans for businesses in Genesee County and the city of Flint.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are working capital loans, that will now be made available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, non-profit organizations that meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.

The Michigan Senate has additionally approved a $30 million dollar funding request for a proposal announced by Governor Rick Snyder to aid the city of Flint with credits (Consumption and Consumer Use Credit). If this $30 million is approved by the MI House, state funding for Flint’s water crisis for this Fiscal Year will total $67.3 million.

The Governor has also appointed Mike Finney, former executive director of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, to the City of Flint Receivership Transition Advisory board. Gov. Snyder said in a release that “I am confident that Mike, a Flint native, will work diligently with local leaders to ensure continued financial stability, which is especially imperative as we work to transition executive authority back to Mayor Weaver.”

But even this would be relatively small compared to proposed state and federal funding for Flint economic development projects, with most of it to be earmarked for fixing and replacing the city’s water infrastructure.

Legislation that has been introduced in the United States Congress by Congressman Dan Kildee and U.S. Senators for Michigan Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters provides up to $400 million in new federal emergency funding to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help replace or fix the City of Flint’s water supply infrastructure.

In a letter to President Obama requesting federal assistance, Governor Snyder had stated that the estimated cost of replacing the City of Flint’s water supply infrastructure is $767,419,500. The federal amendment therefore requires the State of Michigan to match dollar-for-dollar the $400 million in federal infrastructure funding that will be authorized through the bill.

Apart from this $800 million in state and federal funding, the new legislation establishes and funds a $200 million Center of Excellence on Lead Exposure in Flint to focus on the immediate and long-term needs of children and adults exposed to lead. It also gives the State of Michigan new flexibility to use funding to help forgive water infrastructure loans. The legislation is being pushed through Congress as an amendment to the Energy Policy and Modernization Act.

The federal legislation also includes $90 million in state and federal funding to support Flint economic development assistance programs and expanded youth employment opportunities.

This includes $12.5 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce for economic development assistance programs, and another $12.5 million for minority business development programs, to be matched with $25 million in state funding. The U.S. Department of Labor will provide another $20 million, to be matched by the state, for youth employment opportunities, workforce training, literacy and apprenticeship grants.

The bill also seeks to make critical investments in Flint schools, including establishing school-based health centers and infrastructure repairs to school buildings.

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