Saturday, August 06, 2005


Granholm's News Of The Week 8/6/2005

Investment Mission Nets 500+ Jobs

While on a mission to Japan to bring back jobs and encourage company expansions here in Michigan, we made contact with more than 150 businesses. We touted opportunities for expansion or investment in Michigan in the areas of international life sciences, advanced automotive, and alternative energy.

Michigan’s highly-skilled workforce, its reputation as the North American capital of high-tech auto research and manufacturing, and its commitment to investing in both life sciences and high-tech industry give Michigan an edge over other states. I brought the message that Michigan is home to 15 public universities and is the nation’s third leading producer of engineering bachelor’s degree graduates; that Michigan has the highest percentage of engineers of any state; and that more automotive research and design companies’ headquarters are located in Michigan than in any other state in the U.S.

I cited important links between our respective economies, noting that some 600 divisions, affiliates, and subsidiaries of Japanese companies operate in Michigan. These companies employ about 100,000 Michigan citizens and contribute $8 billion to the state’s economy. Major Michigan companies such as Ford, General Motors, Dow Chemical, and Stryker are similarly seeking to grow their businesses in Japan.

I discussed my five-point economic plan and Michigan’s commitment to building an exceptional workforce by expanding access to higher education, making Michigan more competitive by restructuring business taxes, and diversifying Michigan’s economy by investing $2 billion in industries of the future.

Tokai Rika to Expand Operations in Battle Creek, Jackson and Plymouth

Following a meeting in Japan last week with Tokai Rika Chairman Yoshihei Iida and President Kiyoshi Kinoshita in Nagoya, Japan, they announced that the company will create 230 new jobs by 2009, by investing $50 million to expand its operations in Battle Creek, Jackson, and Plymouth.

Tokai Rika’s plan to invest and grow in Michigan is great news for the three communities as well as the entire state. This announcement is a clear indicator that companies from around the world see Michigan as the epicenter of North American automotive research, design, and advanced manufacturing. As the global economy continues to impact Michigan, I will continue to tell high tech engineering firms, manufacturers, life science companies, and alternative fuel developers that Michigan should be their first choice for job creation.

One of the vital member companies of Toyota Motor Company group, Tokai Rika is engaged in the manufacturing, sales, and research and development of switches, locks and keys, seatbelts, and other auto-related products. In Michigan, the company employs more than 1,100 people at three facilities: TRAM, Inc. in Plymouth which is the holding company for selling products and also houses a testing facility; TAC Mfg, Inc. in Jackson which manufactures steering wheels, air bags, and shift levers; and TRMI, Inc. in Battle Creek which manufactures automotive switches.
Click here to read more.

DENSO to Expand North American Headquarters in Southfield

DENSO Corporation President and CEO Koichi Fukaya last week announced that the company will expand its North American headquarters in Southfield. The $36 million expansion will create 250 new jobs by 2010.

For nearly 40 years, DENSO and the state of Michigan have maintained a strong partnership that has meant thousands of good-paying jobs for our families and helped the company grow into one of the three largest automotive suppliers in the world. DENSO’s decision to expand its headquarters here strengthens that partnership and solidifies Michigan’s standing as the undisputed North American center of automotive research, design, and manufacturing.

DENSO International America, Inc., the parent company for DENSO’s North American operations, oversees original automotive equipment sales, product engineering, and technical support for sales, finance, product market research, and North American expansion project support. Click here to read more.

Granholm Accepts “Gift of Science” at World Expo 2005

Dassault Systèmes, a global advanced engineering software company headquartered in Suresnes, France, donated a state-of-the-art exhibit to The New Detroit Science Center that it created for the French Pavilion at the World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan. The exhibit is valued at approximately $1 million and demonstrates the high-tech, audio-video equipment used to turn drawings into reality.

Philippe Forestier, executive vice president of Dassault Systemes Paris, and Bernard Testu, commissioner general of the French Pavilion, presented the gift to Michigan during a ceremony at World Expo. The exhibit is a large “Sea Anemone” made from 6,000 iridescent plastic petals lit to give the illusion of life. This amazing exhibit will help promote the value and fun of science, and stimulate the next generation of critical thinkers, innovative scientists, and ground-breaking engineers right here in our state.

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