Auto Supplier Bringing 400 New Jobs

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"This is a fabulous day for Michigan: 14 projects, 4,590 jobs, 1.1 billion dollars in investment, very broad-based -- everything from automotives to agriculture, to pharmaceuticals to optics," said Governor Snyder during the announcement of new jobs coming to Michigan and the Greater Lansing Area. "This is part of the come back of Michigan. We have created a great environment; companies are excited to come here and let's just keep going."

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board met Wednesday to approve business development programs all across the state.

"And if you look at it, it goes from Rogers City clear down to Benton Harbor." said Governor Snyder. "It goes from Holland to Detroit. This is a cool day."

One of those approved is a division of Magna Exteriors and Interiors known as Norplas Industries Inc. It plans to build a 350,000 square foot building on a site in Delta Township. It plans to invest $75 million into the region.

"This I think is the biggest industrial announcement in the last 15 years of an actual new company, new big plant, new employees," said Bob Trezise the President of LEAP--Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

LEAP served as a liaison and helped coordinate this deal. "A local tax abatement will be required from Delta Township," said Trezise. "The company will probably be asking for a 12-year real personal property tax abatement on the building itself."

The company plans to hire 400 new employees. The announcement has the Delta Township Supervisor very excited, especially about what it means for other local businesses.

"The workers that will be coming into the community that will stop at the stores, on the way to and from work, new people will potentially be moving into the area and buying new houses, so this is a great boom for the entire region," said Ken Fletcher, the Delta Township Supervisor.

Fletcher said its one of the biggest projects for Delta Township since the GM plant was built. He said jobs won't be created overnight. It will all happen over the next three years.

"With a new theater that's going to go into the Lansing Mall, some new restaurants that are coming in soon, you add in this plant that's coming, the FedEx plant that came in last year...there's been a lot of development so we are really seeing the economy turn around in Delta Township and we are very excited for what it means for the whole region."

Fletcher says the company will manufacture the molded part of car bumpers.

As an incentive, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved $2 million in economic incentives. The president of the MEDC says it took little effort to bring Norplas and other companies to Michigan.

"I think virtually all of this was gardening; I don't think there was any hunting projects in this one," said Michael Finney, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) President.

The Governor and Finney insisted that this announcement is not the result of right-to-work legislation, saying these job were already in the pipeline before the new laws were passed.

"Freedom to choose is just another element of a broad package of things we have done," said Governor Snyder. "It goes back to things starting with the MBT--eliminating that--balancing the budget, and I'm not going to go through that long list of very good things, but we have created a much more competitive environment."

When asked about the recent Pure Michigan ad regarding jobs and right-to-work, Finney responded.

"Um, No. No. I mean, right-to-work--or freedom to work--is the law of the state of Michigan, and so I think we need to be mindful and we certainly are listening to the feedback that we get."

The president of LEAP said the organization is working with other businesses too, and that this is just one of many big new job announcements to come.

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