Lansing, Michigan, June 15,
2004-- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced
today that assistance offered through the Michigan
Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will make
it possible for two high-tech manufacturers to expand
in Orion and Plymouth Townships creating 139 new jobs
and $19 million in private investment. Single Business
Tax (SBT) credits valued at more than $4.7 million
combined convinced Cobasys and Material Sciences Corporation
(MSC) to expand operations in Michigan rather than
"These are the types of jobs and
investment that we need to continue to attract to
Michigan," said Governor Jennifer Granholm. "Our state's
economic development incentives and our highly skilled
workforce enable Michigan to successfully compete
for and win high-tech projects like these."
In her 2004 State of the State
address, Governor Granholm announced a focused seven-point
plan for making Michigan an economic powerhouse in
the 21st century. So far this year, the Governor and
the MEDC have announced the creation or retention
of approximately 17,000 jobs as a result of targeted
assistance provided by the MEDC.
These expansions are among six
major economic development projects announced today.
In all, they are expected to create a total of 1,511
new jobs for Michigan workers.
To accommodate its rapid growth,
Cobasys will invest an estimated $1.5 million
over the next two years to complete an office building
and purchase new equipment as it consolidates three
plants currently operating in Troy to a single 70,000-square-foot
facility in Orion Township. An SBT credit valued at
more than $3.9 million convinced the company to expand
in Michigan instead of a competing site in Ohio. Cobasys
designs, manufactures and sells Nickel Metal Hydride
(NiMH) battery systems for the emerging hybrid electric
vehicle market. The company also focuses on the commercialization
of battery storage systems for the telecommunications
industry and stationary uninterruptible power sources.
Formerly known as Texaco Ovonic
Battery Systems LLC, Cobasys was formed as a joint
venture between the ChevronTexaco Corporation and
Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. in July 2001.
The project is expected to create
50 new jobs in the first year, and a total of 150
jobs within five years.
An economic analysis by the University
of Michigan estimates that more than $97.5 million
in new personal income will result from the project
over the next 10 years.
Orion Township is expected to
approve a 50 percent abatement of the company's new
personal property taxes valued at $92,000 for 12 years.
Material Sciences Corp. (MSC),
based in Elk Grove, Illinois, plans to invest $17.4
million to establish a 54,000-square-foot technical
center in Plymouth Township. MSC specializes in developing
solutions that help reduce noise and heat problems
related to the operation of automotive, appliance,
office furniture, heating and cooling and electronics
products. The expansion is expected to create six
new positions in the first year of the project for
a total of 17 by 2014. In addition, the company will
relocate 24 current employees in Farmington Hills
to the new facility.
MSC had considered a competing
site in Ohio for the expansion. However, an SBT credit
worth $800,000 convinced the company to expand in
Plymouth Township is expected
to approve a 50 percent abatement of the company's
new real and personal property taxes for 12 years.
The value of the abatement is estimated at more than
An economic analysis by the University
of Michigan estimates that more than $14.4 million
in new personal income will be generated from the
project over the life of the agreement.
"These are fantastic jobs that
will further reinforce the state's reputation as a
hotbed for high-tech development," said MEDC President
and CEO Don Jakeway. "The fact that companies like
Cobasys and MSC are expanding in Michigan demonstrates
the strength of the state's advanced automotive manufacturing
The Michigan Economic Development
Corporation, a partnership between the state and local
communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing
strategies and providing services to create and retain
good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information
on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's
initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.michigan.org
Ray Wagner, Cobasys
Paul Krepps, MEDC
— (248) 637-7404
— (517) 335-4590