Michigan gets some good news: Manufacturer to bring 225 new jobs to Battle Creek area

New jobs have been tough to come by in Michigan. The state has been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn. But Michigan residents received some good news earlier this month when a manufacturing plant announced that it would set up shop in the Michigan community of Battle Creek.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Aug. 23 announced Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program incentive for the establishment of Janesville Acoustic’s new manufacturing plant in Battle Creek. The best news? The new plant will generate up to $10 million in private investment and add a projected 225 jobs to the area.

Not surprisingly, officials in Battle Creek welcomed the new plant enthusiastically.

“Janesville Acoustics is a world leader in acoustical products, and the opening of the facility in Battle Creek will further strengthen its Michigan presence and provide additional good jobs for years to come,” said economic development corporation president and chief operating office Michael Finney in a written statement. “The company’s decision to expand in Michigan is a strong statement about the great opportunities that, thanks to our business-climate improvements, Michigan now offers to growing companies.”

Janesville Acoustics, headquartered in Southfield, Mich., is one of the world’s largest producers of acoustical and thermal fiber insulation. It is also a leading producer of fiber products. Janesville Acoustics proposes to invest up to $10 million to open a new 250,000-square-foot facility in Battle Creek that will manufacture felt parts for cars and trucks.

“For eight months, our team has worked to determine the right location in which to establish our fifth U.S. production facility,” said David Cataldi, president of Janesville Acoustics, in a written statement. “In Battle Creek, we are pleased to have found the right combination of a skilled workforce, infrastructure that meets our needs and proximity to our automotive customers.”

The City of Battle Creek plans to approve tax abatements for Janesville, an important incentive that helped convince the manufacturer to choose Battle Creek as its new home.

“Battle Creek is delighted to have a company the caliber of Janesville Acoustics coming to our city and adding their expertise in acoustical and thermal automotive products to our economic base,” said Battle Creek city manager Ken Tsuchiyama in a statement. “City government will continue to support their growth and investment and look forward to a long and productive relationship with our newest corporate resident.”

The Battle Creek Michigan Works! agency and Battle Creek Unlimited are providing job training for the project. In addition, BCU is supplementing that with $140,000 for training, relocation and residency incentives.

– Dan Rafter

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