Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jobs Coming, Jobs Going... and More Jobs Coming

UPDATE: Gov. Granholm and MEDC announce 6,900 new jobs, $231 million in investment from 13 companies and 5 development projects, some of which are mentioned in this post. Read the complete list here.

"Scorecard! Get yer scorecard here! Can’t tell the players without a scorecard!"

Economic news is flying fast and furious this morning in Michigan, hard to stay on top of it all - especially when you have George Bush in the background insisting that we drill for more oil! Right now!, and then cut to Senator Jim Bunning insisting to Bernard Bernanke that it would be socialism! socialism in American if we were to bail out these mortgage companies! The look on Bernanke's face was priceless. So, you can see how someone would get distracted. Apparently everyone's gone mad today in some big rush to get all these announcements out before Washington goes totally insane, like that hasn't happened already.

Anyway, back to the big announcement(s), and here is THE big one. Dow Chemical and Petrochemical Industries Co. of Kuwait will locate their new headquarters in the Detroit area, bringing hundreds of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars with them.

The headquarters, somewhere along the "I-96-I-94 corridor," would employ 800 Michigan employees within the next several years, with an average salary of $95,000, Granholm said. The investment in Michigan would be more than $100 million.

"K-Dow, which will bring hundreds of jobs to our state, would rank in the top half of the Fortune 500 if it was publicly traded, and the fact that it will be headquartered here is good news for Michigan," said Granholm, who held the news conference at her Capitol office.

Michigan beat out "strong competition" from Louisana and Texas to land the project. The new company will employ 5,000 people worldwide when all is said and done, and this is an $11 billion dollar joint venture in total. BIG company, and we got 'em.

That's the good news. Some not-so-good news coming out of GM - they are scrambling for cash, and have announced production cuts, reduction of salaried staff through early retirement offers, suspending the dividends on stock... read the whole list of actions they are taking at the Detroit News.

Employees watching on closed-circuit television monitors at GM's Renaissance Center headquarters were stoic as Wagoner spoke of the new round of drastic cost-cutting measures, which are aimed at generating $10 billion in savings and another $4 billion to $7 billion through borrowing and asset sales through the end of 2009.

More not-so-good news, Volkswagen announced they are going to Tennessee. Never thought we had a realistic shot at this anyway... but hey, we tried.

Jennifer Granholm said in a statement Tuesday that the state's highly skilled work force and an "unprecedented" incentive package were among the lures the state offered in its effort to bring the German automaker to Michigan.

But wait! There's more good news slowly leaking out on the jobs front... a lot more. Crain's reports that an announcement will be made later today about more companies that plan to build or expand in Michigan - and a few of those have already made the papers.

One company making a major expansion is Perrigo in Allegan-

Perrigo Co. plans to invest $10.5 million in its Allegan headquarters and production campus in an expansion that's projected to generate 99 new jobs within a year and 400 over five years.

Graphic Packaging in Kalamazoo announced new jobs in their expansion.

Graphic Packaging Holding Co. plans to invest $27 million to expand one of its two Kalamazoo factories. The Marietta, Ga.-based company, which merged last year with Chicago-based Altivity Packaging LLC, is expected to create 160 new jobs at its folding-carton plant as a result of the expansion, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

ForeSee Results will locate their headquarters in Ann Arbor-

ForeSee Results Inc. of Pittsfield Township is expected to be granted $3.2 million in state tax credits over seven years today for its plans to hire 275 people in southeast Michigan.

The online consumer satisfaction company said it plans to spend $6.6 million to create a North American headquarters in the state. The company is trying to expand its client base abroad, its technology offerings and the number of industries it works with, said president and chief executive officer Larry Freed.

Attwood Corporation is bringing jobs to Lowell from Texas.

The Attwood Corporation will add 50 jobs to its Lowell facility when it transfers work from Texas to Michigan.

Attwood, a company that makes marine parts and accessories, is getting a $1 million property tax credit over the next 12 years from the city of Lowell. The state of Michigan is also giving the company a $450,000 tax break.

And Northland-Marvel broke ground in Greenville to manufacture refrigeration products - with the city manager announcing more jobs on the way.

"Over the last couple of years, we've been working with a number of companies about coming to Greenville," Basonic said. "I'm very comfortable in saying that in 2008 we will announce between 800 and 1,000 news jobs for Greenville."

"It's coming, it's only going to get better from here."

Whew! Do you guys have to do this all in one day?

Although we received some bad news out of the automotive industry - the good news is that we are beating out competition to land other firms that will help diversify Michigan's economy so we don't put all our eggs in one basket again. Better to have that than ride the ups and downs of one industry alone.