Local Company Hiring, Others Expected to Also

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

Jackson County's Michigan Automotovite Compressor company, or MACI, is hiring 79 people this year, almost double the number they planned on.

"We also are expanding more than we had planned with new equipment and new product coming in," said Cheryl Norey, community relations coordinator at MACI.

They're investing $72 million in new technology over 2011 and 2012.

The company makes one thing: air conditioning compressor units. Yet orders are up from every automaker the company supplies.

"We supply Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Ford, GM, John Deere and Freightliner," said Norey. "It's gotta be a sign the auto industry is doing better."

It's not the one doing better, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

"I'm kind of astounded to see how many stories there are about companies that are hiring, more than expected," said Joe Serwach, managing director of communications for the MEDC.

He cites research that says at least half the state's employers will hire new workers given Governor Snyder's business tax cuts. And unemployment is already declining. From Feburary 2010 to 2011, Michigan went from 14.2 percent to 11 percent. In Jackson, the numbers dropped from 14.2 to 10.8. And in Lansing, from10.9 to 8.3. But for those who are unemlpoyed, it's not all bad, Serwach says.

"You're more likely to take a risk and pursue some great idea you have been thinking about doing," he said. "But if you've got a steady job you may not want to gamble on some business idea."

That's exactly what some Michiganders are doing.

"More than half of MSU and U of M grads in a recent suvey said they expected to start their own company at some point and that's a different world than I grew up in," Serwach said.

Out of all metro areas in the country, Detroit and Muskegon showed the most significant drops in their unemployment rates.

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