Michigan-based SK Siltron CSS, a manufacturer of semiconductor wafers used in power system components, will invest $302 million and create up to 150 jobs in Monitor Township, MI. The new semiconductor wafer manufacturing and R&D operation will help meet the demand for electric vehicle components and is supported by a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The company, a subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Siltron, considered sites in Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas but ultimately chose Michigan due to its talent and proximity to automakers.
“The growth of electric vehicles is opening an exciting new chapter for the auto industry as it provides consumers with more environmentally friendly transportation options,” said Jianwei Dong, chief executive officer for SK Siltron CSS. “SK Siltron CSS is proud to partner with the State of Michigan to build the supply chain and create the skilled jobs required to support the next generation of EVs, ensuring Michigan remains the automotive center of the world.”
The demand for power semiconductors is rapidly increasing as automakers enter the electric vehicle market and telecommunication companies expand 5G capabilities. SK Siltron CSS plans to expand production of much-needed silicon carbide wafers, considered the future of the industry because of their ability to efficiently transfer energy.
“SK Siltron’s high-profile commitment proves further evidence that Michigan remains a place where high-tech talent needs can be met and tech companies can grow, and we thank the company for its vote of confidence in our state and our workforce,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF). “The company’s investment in Michigan is a clear example of how top attraction projects are finding opportunities to grow in the state underscoring Michigan’s leadership position in electric vehicle R&D and manufacturing.”
The project will attract high-wage jobs in high-tech manufacturing ranging from semi-skilled operators to engineers, and will continue to strengthen Michigan’s automotive, mobility and advanced manufacturing industries.
The MSF also approved a 15-year State Essential Services Assessment exemption valued at $4.4 million. Monitor Township is considering a property tax abatement in support of the project, and MEDC approved a State Education Tax abatement to be used in conjunction with the local abatement. Bay Future, Inc. has worked with the company and the MEDC throughout the process offering staff time and resources in coordinating site selection activities, identifying and bringing local resources and resource partners to the table, and more.
“SK Siltron CSS is a world class, high tech company that could have chosen to invest anywhere in the world. We are appreciative that they decided to choose to invest here in Bay County. Our community, region, and state have a storied history of manufacturing, specifically in the automotive industry,” said Bay Future, Inc. President and CEO Trevor Keyes. “This investment represents the future of that foundation where ingenuity and know-how will drive an engine of innovation and technology. We are pleased and thankful for having had the opportunity to work closely with the MSF, the MEDC, and SK Siltron CSS to secure this significant capital investment and new job creating project.”
Key Industries Growing In Grand Rapids Region
In the Grand Rapids region, two new company expansions supported by the MSF will create 319 jobs, signaling continued economic recovery in West Michigan. Gen3 Defense and Aerospace is investing $8.7 million to expand in Kent County, creating up to 269 high-wage jobs; pump manufacturer Blackmer is investing $7.3 million in its Grand Rapids expansion.
“As we jumpstart Michigan’s economy, these projects demonstrate our continued focus on laying a path for economic growth and recovery in all regions of our state,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Today’s actions will lead to economic opportunity for Michiganders in West Michigan, by creating jobs, building on our rich manufacturing heritage in key industries, and supporting business growth here in our state.”
Grand Rapids-based Gen3 Defense and Aerospace, LLC is an engineering, manufacturing and supply chain solution provider with a primary focus on newly developed autonomous military and aerospace programs. The company recently secured a large five-year contract and needs to grow its West Michigan team to maintain and expand its capabilities in robotics systems development. The company is expanding into a larger facility in Kent County that will allow for increased manufacturing capacity and additional team members. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $8.7 million and create up to 269 high-wage jobs, resulting in a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing site in Florida.
The project will continue to grow Michigan’s advanced manufacturing sector and will further boost the state as a hub for defense-related manufacturing and R&D. Gen3 promotes from within and offers on-the-job training to its employees, and will bring a large number of pathway jobs to the region as a result of the expansion.
“Our team is excited to begin taking on new opportunities as we continue growing in west Michigan,” said Gen3 Defense and Aerospace General Manager Mark Wells. “We plan to continue in the high-tech robotics space and we’ll need a strong, talented team to achieve that. We’re thankful for all of the support The Right Place and their partners at the MEDC provided to make this expansion a reality here in West Michigan.”
Elsewhere in Grand Rapids, global pump manufacturer Blackmer is constructing a new facility that will create 50 jobs. Blackmer designs, manufactures and distributes rotary pumps, gas compressors and centrifugal pumps for a variety of industries including chemical, energy, transportation, military, marine and oil and gas. The company employs nearly 250 full-time people at its Grand Rapids location.
Blackmer plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids where it will house assembly, paint, and shipping functions. Parent company PSG expects to invest more than $7 million in the project which will create up to 50 high-wage jobs with the support of a $350,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in other states.
“Our team is incredibly excited to continue growing and evolving our operations in the West Michigan region,” said Blackmer General Manager Bob Lauson. “We’ve called the Grand Rapids community home for nearly a century, and it continues to be an ideal location for us to expand our footprint. We’re thankful to the team at The Right Place and their partners at the MEDC for the support they have provided get this project over the finish line. In addition, the city of Grand Rapids has been a pleasure to deal with and has been very supportive of the project.”
“These projects reflect our commitment to taking a holistic, people-first approach to economic development while securing Michigan’s leadership in the industries that will drive our economy into the future,” said Messer. “We’re proud to join The Right Place and our local partners as we send the message that we are working to build a championship economy here in West Michigan.”
“Greater Grand Rapids has served as a community where companies like Gen3 and Blackmer are able to embrace growth opportunities that bolster continued success and prosperity,” said Senior Business Development Manager for The Right Place, Inc., Jennifer Wangler, “We are thrilled that these two companies are continuing to grow here in the Grand Rapids community and look forward to the increased economic opportunity these projects will bring to our residents.”
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