Governor Nets 300 Jobs from Germany, Others Announced

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

Two German firms, Facton and Kostal will create 296 jobs in Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm announced Tuesday. Most of the jobs would come directly from the two companies; some would be hired by suppliers.

A third company, MBtech, will retain jobs in Michigan.

All are getting tax credits from the state.

"We're talking about three companies that have ties to the auto industry," Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said. "They produce sfotware for the auto industry."

The governor also announced financial incentives for General Motors and Delphi to keep thousands of jobs in the state.

And 233 additional new jobs would be created and funding for a new hybrid engine development center jointly operated by GM, DaimlerChysler and BMW Group.

But of course, the hundreds of new jobs can't make up for the thousands of jobs the auto industry has already shed.

"Well, it can't make up for it," Boyd said. But she says the jobs will offset, for the time being, the loss of Comerica Bank headquarters.

It's a series of small steps, steps that Michigan State University Economics Professor Charles Ballard says are the only way to re-grow the state's economy.

"We've lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the last four years in Michigan," Ballard said. "We're not going to make that up all in one big gulp."

The job announcements come as Michigan's budget crisis has made it the only state to receive a "negative outlook" from investment research firm Standard and Poor's.

"They're beginning to lose faith in the ability of the legislature to make tough decisions. And they're saying time is running out," Ballard said.

If the governor and the legislature don't act swiftly to fill the state's budget hole, it could lower the state's credit rating, making it more expensive for the state to do business.

That's a problem that would likely fall back on the shoulders of taxpayers.

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