Empty fields at Canal and Mt. Hope west of Lansing slotted--finally--for the kind of construction Delta Township says they've always known would happen here.
"We have planned since 1958 when Delta Township zoned this entire area for industrial," says Amy McEwan, Asst. Twp. Mgr. She says people thought they were crazy, but now: "Collins and Aikman is investing $26 million." And that's not all.
With work well underway at the GM plant nearby, Delta Township says suppliers are pieces of that puzzle.
Delta says Collins and Aikman plan to build a plant to make interiors for GM cars and Bridgewater Interiors Inc., in cooperation with Johnson Controls, plan to build an adjacent facility to make seats. That's in addition to Ryder Logistics, a company already revamping the old GM engine plant to organize and cart parts for GM's Delta Township plant.
If everything goes off as planned--scheduled construction, and what's already underway--it could mean as many as 1,500 jobs, many of them by the end of the summer. Many of them will be well-suited to replace supplier jobs lost when Lansing Car Assembly plant closed May 6.
"It should be a seamless opportunity," UAW Local 724 President Dean Poggiali says. He represents some 250 to 280 supplier workers who lost their jobs with LCA. He says employers would be smart to hire these men and women, already familiar with the GM system. He says this is a golden opportunity, so long as it happens quickly.
McEwan says the companies will break ground around July 1. They could begin making test product by November.