From start-ups to family owned companies that have spanned generations, Macomb County is known for our businesses successes. Our companies are household names, with brands and products consumers trust.
These successes don’t just happen by accident. Our region is home to a rich and diverse talent pool ready to put nose to the grindstone to get the job done. In Macomb County, we celebrate success. Read about how companies from different industries and different sizes are succeeding in Macomb County. Ready to join this list?
Expansion -- Elite Mold & Engineering
3D PRINTING OPENS UP NEW MANUFACTURING OPTIONS FOR ELITE MOLD & ENGINEERING
Efficiency, quality, cost.
Regardless of the reason, entry into additive manufacturing and 3D printing has been a game changer for Elite Mold & Engineering Inc.
About a year ago, with the help of Macomb County’s Department of Planning and Economic Development, Elite applied for and received an Industry 4.0 implementation grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. With the $25,000 matching grant, Elite, based in Shelby Township, purchased a DLS printer and accompanying DLS technology. And on Jan. 1, it opened a 280-square foot DLS printing facility.
With a total $300,000 investment over the life of a three-year leasing period, the DLS technology will allow Elite to get parts into customers’ hands 70% faster and 50% cheaper than conventional mold build processes. And the DLS technology allows them to respond to customer project demands in just days, not weeks or months.
“The county generously put it out there to help small businesses like ours to take that leap into the future with new technology,” Elite CEO Paul Patrash said. “Because sometimes it can be cost prohibitive and might not be in the budget or plan. But this definitely helped open the door for us to get into 3D printing and manufacturing as a new technology for our company.
“We’ve been in business since 1982 doing injection molding and tooling. And we saw the future and we decided to invest into it,” he added.
DLS 3D printing, commonly called Carbon DLS, stands for digital light synthesis. DLS 3D printing is a type of additive manufacturing that utilizes light to map printed parts, which subsequently completes a curing process using heat to achieve the intended material properties DLS is notable for its ability to balance design flexibility and speed of production with desirable plastic material properties not obtainable with other types of 3D printing.
DLS 3D printing utilizes a UV laser projection to cure liquid plastic resins into solid parts. In DLS 3D printing, a laser at the bottom is projected into a resin reservoir by passing through an oxygen-permeable window. UV images are projected on the resin in layers and the part takes on a solid form as the build platform rises.
Most of the parts that Elite prints on the DLS printer are for automotive customers – housings and covers found both inside the vehicle and under the engine. Using CAD designs, they make parts that are trialed for form, fit and function, and whether or not they work with mated parts. Once the customer is satisfied with the part, Elite can produce a low volume of parts or build an injection mold that will produce thousands of parts or hundreds of thousands of parts. Prior to 3D printing, the company would spend long hours creating a part design, creating an injection mold and manufacturing the part. And then it might add to the cost and time to create four more versions of the same part for the customer to consider. And if the customer were to ultimately choose the first part design, weeks and months were wasted creating the other parts. Now, those five designs can be created in a matter of hours or days.
The only limitation at this point is the size of the product produced in the Carbon M2 Printer. Parts must fit in a 12x7x5-inch envelope. Otherwise, Elite and its customers are only limited by their collective imaginations.
“We wanted to capture some of the opportunity with our customers earlier on in the design phase or post design phase before they go into prototype low volume,” Patrash said. “It gives them a really good option to prove out their part design, get some parts in their hand very quickly. It gives our customers a really quick, easy and affordable way to prove out their concepts.”
3D printing technology is growing so fast, Elite is only leasing its printer rather than buying it. It did purchase an oven, UV curing station and cleaning booth. Patrash said he can see the technology improving exponentially faster in the years to come. And use of cutting-edge technology also has the benefit of attracting younger employees. His son Parker, 22, runs the DLS printing facility.
“This allows us to grow the business into the future with technology and manufacturing processes that are attractive to the younger generation,” Patrash said. “The younger generation is not that interested in building tools and molds the way their father did and their grandfather did. They want the latest and greatest technology, and this is it. It’s clean, it’s current.
“The younger generation likes working with computers, and this is all computer-driven technology. We’re aging out. You walk around here, and everyone is my age,” said Patrash, who just turned 59. “There’s not a lot of young people coming up in this trade, so how do we remain competitive in manufacturing in Michigan, in the United States? It’s technology like this.”
Patrash has attended each of Macomb County’s Industry 4.0 workshops. He said the workshops have been vital to educating Macomb County’s manufacturing community about the importance of embracing and using new technologies, or face being left behind.
Patrash said there was a general awareness among the manufacturing community as to the technology that is available. But he said manufacturers didn’t really know how to get involved or apply it to their businesses. Elite was one of the first companies to apply for the implementation grant and take advantage of free assessments from the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC).
“The county really took the bull by the horns, set up meetings and conferences that were informative and hands-on. They had the experts there to introduce us to these new technologies. And it lowered the fear barrier to get into it,” Patrash said. “Most of the manufacturing guys are ‘show me guys.’ They want to see it, they want to touch it,they want to hold it, understand it better. We are engineers in our mindset. So when the county introduced the Industry 4.0 program and the other components that are piggybacking off of that, it was a great opportunity for the manufacturing community to get involved and help their business grow into the future.”
Patrash said if Michigan wants to remain the industrial center of the country, it must look at different avenues, like 3D printing, for manufacturing. He said if Michigan manufacturers aren’t willing to change and adapt, other states will.
“We have to look at different ideas, some that may be outside of the box a little bit, compared to the conventional methods. If we don’t do it, Arizona’s going to do it, or Seattle's going to do it,” he said. “Somebody’s going to do it, because this type of technology isn’t bound to an industrial center like Michigan. It can be done anywhere. People are doing 3D printing in their houses, in their garages and basements. “Capitalizing on that opportunity very quickly, and I think Michigan did, is very important for the future of our livelihood as a manufacturing hub here in Michigan.
And again, Patrash said that success in the future is tied to the next generation and its interest in manufacturing.
“We’ve been in business for 40 years, and I don’t want it to end with me,” he said. “So how do we provide that growth for the future generations? It’s introducing new technologies, training them, showing these young kids that there is a career to be had in this industry. It’s not a dead industry. It’s growing, it’s thriving, and the county has really stepped up and helped put programs in place to help us get there.”
Fueling the Talent Pipeline -- UHI Group
STEVENSON MADE HELPING TO FUEL THE TALENT PIPELINE IN MACOMB COUNTY
Kristina Kopp is only 17 years old, but she is already a full-time aerospace welder for UHI Group in Sterling Heights, a sheet metal components and assemblies manufacturer.
As impressive as that sounds, only a couple of years prior, Kopp didn’t even know welding existed as a career.
While a student at Stevenson MADE, a four-year program for Manufacturing, Automation and Design Engineering at Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights, Kopp and other MADE students were visited by John Hren, an aerospace welder at UHI. Hren was there to interest students in a career at UHI.
“Kristina thought I was an astronaut,” Hren said, with a smile on his face. “As was kind of expected, a lot of them were unfamiliar with the aerospace industry.”
Fast forward just a couple of years later, and Kopp is producing high-tolerance, precision-made metal ducts, also known as tubular assemblies, for airplane parts. And she is making a good wage, starting a career in a field desperate for skilled tradespeople such as her.
“I started welding in ninth grade (at Stevenson MADE),” Kopp said. “ I was kind of welding for fun for four years until John came, and then I realized there was an industry. So I started taking it more seriously when John started coming to the school.”
Kopp started working for UHI part time in January 2023. She graduated this May and was offered a full-time job in June.
Andrew Loftis, 18, another MADE graduate, took a more traditional path to his job at UHI. He started welding at MADE during lunch time and took part in welding competitions while in high school. He was a hands-on guy from the start, working on cars and helping to make repairs at his father’s lawn-care business. He started working part time at UHI in June 2022, and has been working there ever since. Like Kopp, he was hired full-time in June after high school graduation.
“Before MADE, I always wanted to go to college,” Loftis said. “I really wanted to be an engineer because I wanted to do something like building stuff. But then MADE showed me that you don’t have to go to college. That’s what it mainly taught me. I also got a lot of advice from my teachers. They helped me a lot with my career.
“The COVID years were a factor. I just didn’t like school after that. I just never wanted to be at school. The only class I really enjoyed was welding. And I realized I didn’t have to go to school to be a welder.”
“Friends are a little jealous,” Loftis added. “Most can’t say they have a job and are in their career at 17-18 years old. So that’s really cool.”
Both Kopp and Loftis are just two of the latest Fueling the Talent Pipeline success stories in Macomb County, a partnership formed between Macomb County Planning and Economic Development, local school districts, and the local manufacturing community to direct students to high-demand, well-paid jobs in manufacturing.
Howard Eisenhardt, 60, the aerospace weld leader for UHI Group, said the partnership and Stevenson MADE have been a godsend for his company.
“It’s definitely started to fill in the gaps, our experience gap, especially in our department,” Eisenhardt said. “We have two welders who are in their sixties and another one or two in their fifties. And we’ve had a hard time filling in experienced, aerospace welders.
“We’ve looked at hundreds of resumes. We bring them in for a weld test, and you might get lucky and find one. I think this is helping the community and helping UHI. Maybe they will go back to school and further their careers as a welding inspector or an engineer. But some of the best welding inspectors or engineers are welders. And this is where they start out.”
UHI Human Resources Manager Liz Strom started with the company two years ago, and she almost immediately noticed the lack of diversity in the company’s workforce and how many employees were close to aging out and heading to retirement. She began calling the local colleges, community colleges and high schools. And she developed the partnerships that exist today.
“We were sending out ads and not getting the resumes. So we had to find people who wanted to learn it,” Strom said. “We realized we’ve got to bring them in green and teach them and train them. I learned about the MADE program and went about building up a partnership and setting up a co-op with them, along with Romeo and Center Line and started building all of that. We got involved with Manufacturing Day and just building it within the community.”
Strom said UHI has had several students serve in internships and co-ops from Romeo Community Schools, Stevenson MADE (part of the Utica Community Schools) and some from the Troy School District. Four have become employees – three from Stevenson and one from Romeo.
Kopp, who prior to entering the MADE program had thoughts of becoming a surgeon, plans on going to college but not yet. Strom said UHI offers college course reimbursement to its employees if they get a 3.5 or higher grade point average in their classes. Kopp wants to spend the near term enjoying her new job.
“I shadowed before I came here, so I knew exactly how it was going to be. It’s really welcoming here. Howie, John and Liz helped me through a lot of stuff. So I had no problems, and it was exactly what I expected it to be,” Kopp said. “I really like it here. It’s a nice shop. And I like to walk around and see what the other plants are doing. (Strom said currently about 80% of UHI’s contracts are automotive, and 20% are aerospace and defense.)”
Eisenhardt said Stevenson MADE and other similar programs have made a huge difference at UHI.
“Without MADE, we would be struggling, absolutely,” he said. “Basically, we would be shorthanded and still looking to fill some empty work centers. And hopefully, it gives us an edge on our competitors.”
To learn more about Fueling the Talent Pipeline, contact Senior Outreach Specialist Jennifer Weot at Jennifer.Weot@macombgov.org
Expansion -- On The Bay Bistro Bar & Boutique
GROWING NEW BALTIMORE RESTAURANT TAKES ADVANTAGE OF CITY FACADE IMPROVEMENT GRANT
By her own admission, Cher Bell simply can’t sit still.
Like her signature dishes overflowing with lobster, Bell’s brain is always overflowing with ideas to improve her beach-themed restaurant in New Baltimore – On The Bay Bistro Bar & Boutique.
So when presented with a chance to unleash her creative juices on improving the facade of her building with a city grant, Bell jumped at the opportunity.
The 1940’s-era building was in need of a facelift.
“It was about updating and upgrading. The facade was so old,” Bell said. “We knocked out walls and found windows in the walls. Cinder block was falling apart inside the walls. It was a mess.”
New Baltimore is one of many communities in Macomb County that offer facade improvement programs. New Baltimore awards up to 50% of the total cost of a qualified facade, with a maximum grant of $2,500 per project. Center Line, Clinton Township, Eastpointe, Mount Clemens, Richmond and Roseville all have similar programs.
Bell moved into the building, formerly a clothing boutique, in 2016. She bought the building in January of this year. The beach theme comes from her love of the Florida Keys. Bell said every time she returns to Michigan after a trip to the Keys, she’s filled with ideas, which she adds to her restaurant. It very much has a sand and sun vibe. With their location just a couple of blocks from Anchor Bay, the theme fits in well with the surrounding community.
And the community has supported her endeavors. On The Bay Bistro was named winner of the Best Unique Store in 2020 by The Voice newspaper in its Best of the Best contest. It was nominated for the best macaroni and cheese in 2021 in Macomb County Planning and Economic Development’s Best Mac in the Mac contest. In other Macomb County programs, it won $1,000 in the Shop Local Macomb contest in 2021, and it was nominated for best Hidden Gem in the 2023 Macomb Business Awards.
True to her nature, Bell and her husband, Joe Young, went overboard, no pun intended, upgrading both the front and the back of the restaurant. New windows and doors were added to the front, and an outdoor patio and gate were added to the back. So far, they have invested more than $5,000 in the facade improvements. The pair also plans to add a 30-foot x 30-foot second level deck on the back of the building. Bell said the plans have already been approved by the city.
Bell learned the New Baltimore facade improvement program doesn’t offer grant money for work already completed. But the pair does plan to make additional facade improvements soon, replacing old brick and stonework. They will apply for the grant before that work begins.
Investing in the facade improvements has already paid dividends, according to Bell. Profits are up 32% compared to last year. On The Bay has surpassed two million hits on Google, and its list of followers on Facebook continues to grow.
So, what have her customers had to say about the improvements?
“They love the improvements. They say you guys never stop,” Bell said. “People tell us all the time they feel like they’re in the Florida Keys. I go to the Florida Keys all the time and bring back inspiration. I met and married my (first) husband there and buried him there. And Joe and I go there.”
Bell said the Anchor Bay Chamber of Commerce has been “immensely helpful” with helping her restaurant grow, and she credits Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Senior Business Developer Hali Lenney with making her aware of the Facade Improvement Grant funding.
“The support has been amazing. I don’t know about these things. I don’t have time to go looking for these things,” Bell said. “She’s (Lenney) always letting me know about the things that are there and that we can apply for. All of the connections I’ve been able to make – I’m blessed.”
To learn more about Facade Improvement Grants and whether your community offers them, contact Macomb County Planning and Economic Development at 586-469-5100.
Attraction -- NorthPointe Development
RIBBON CUTTING ANNOUNCES MOUND ROAD INDUSTRIAL PARK IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS IN WARREN
A historic piece of land in Warren has received a shiny, new facelift with the ribbon cutting ceremony May 12 at the new Mound Road Industrial Park between Nine and 10 Mile roads.
The new park will eventually include 1.43 million square feet of industrial space of speculative
Buildings, part of a $140 million investment by NorthPointe Development on the 117-acre property that was once a contaminated brownfield.
The ribbon cutting took place in front of Building No. 1, a 252,937 square-foot facility that will house the park’s first two tenants: Borg Warner and Marlow Beauty Supply. The facility reflects a $10.6-million investment from Borg Warner, which will use the building to develop a battery service center. The new battery service center will provide service for all BorgWarner batteries in North America, with a focus on testing, diagnostics and training. Across the parking lot, earthmovers were busy preparing Building No. 2 for completion. That building, containing 414,000 square feet, will house a Home Depot distribution center. That building should be ready for occupancy in October.
Construction for two more buildings, with a total of more than 760,000 square feet, will begin in 2024. For Marc Werner, the NorthPoint Development regional vice president, the ribbon cutting was a proud moment. NorthPoint Development has now invested roughly $1 billion in the state of Michigan.
“This brownfield redevelopment has been a challenging one, but it’s just another notch on the belt for Northpoint’s brownfield redevelopment expertise in the state,” Werner said. Six of our eight projects in Michigan have been brownfields. We’ve taken blighted properties and turned them into business parks that are generating taxes and creating hundreds of jobs.”
The colorful history of the site started in 1941, when the property was used to manufacture mortar shells for anti-aircraft artillery in World War II by the Hudson Motor Company. After WWII, it was converted to automotive manufacturing.
Twenty years later, it was again converted to military use to manufacture weapons for the U.S. military in the Vietnam War. For the last 50 years, the site served as a General Motors transmission plant that was once home to more than 1,200 employees. The plant closed in 2019, but in 2020, it was briefly used to produce masks and other personal protective equipment to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic. The property was sold to Northpoint in 2021, at which time the company began a complete demolition of the site.
“So this property is hallowed ground. And we’re really proud to take the next step,” Werner said. “It helped defend the American people in two wars. And as owners of this park, we will preserve its patriotic legacy.”
“This is a phenomenal development. We are the center of industrial development,” added Warren Mayor Jim Fouts. “This is a great example of public/private partnership. They (Northpoint) spent $30 million just to clean up the old powertrain plant. This is just phase two. Phase three and four are yet to come. So the best is yet to come.”
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said the importance of the Mound corridor isn’t lost on the federal government. That’s why it rewarded Macomb County with $217 million for its Innovate Mound project, which will completely redevelop the roadway with state-of-the-art technology, from Interstate 696, north to M-59. Although the Mound Road Industrial Park is located just south of that new road construction, Hackel said the county is in discussions with Warren and Mayor Jim Fouts to redevelop Mound from I-696, south to Eight Mile Road.
“I don’t think people realize the importance of this entire corridor,” Hackel said. “We’re talking about Eight Mile Road, all the way up to M-59. We got the money from the federal government for Innovate Mound for a reason. The federal government realizes that this cluster of assets does about an $8.3 billion worth of business.”
Don Gardner is a communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.
Attraction -- Niagara Bottling
NIAGARA BOTTLING BREAKS GROUND IN SHELBY TOWNSHIP
An all-hands-on-deck approach by Macomb County and its regional partners helped land a new, $120 million project in Shelby Township that will bring with it 60 highly skilled full-time jobs.
After an extensive search process, Niagara Bottling, based in Diamond Bar, Calif., chose Shelby Township to build a new facility and expand its operations into the Midwest. The 500,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art bottled water facility is being built on 23 Mile Road, west of Hayes.
The Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department found out through the Detroit Regional Partnership in spring 2021 that the company was searching for an expansion site and offered six sites through its prime properties database.
While a site was considered, Macomb worked with the Michigan Economic Development Center (MEDC), to apply for an incentive known as the business development program. The program incentivizes companies who are looking at sites outside of the state to invest in Michigan. Niagara was offered an incentive package worth up to $785,866 to invest in Michigan.
In addition, workforce development partner Michigan Works offered an incentives package to assist in recruiting new staff. Moreover, Macomb Community College provided incentives that could assist Niagara Bottling with training its new staff.
Niagara Bottling broke ground in July 2022 and is expected to open in February 2023.
If your company is looking to expand into Macomb County, call our Economic Development team at 586-469-5285.
Expansion -- L&L Products
L&L Products expands its operations in Romeo
L&L Products, an award-winning company that serves the aerospace and automotive industries, among others, will be making a $27 million, 140,000 square-foot expansion to its facility in Romeo.
The 64-year-old company is a technology driven, family owned business that creates solutions for various applications requiring static sealing, better acoustics, reduced vibration, structural reinforcement and composite components. L&L Products also serves the industrial, commercial vehicle and rail industries and has customers located around the world.
L&L opted to expand its Romeo facility instead of looking elsewhere after receiving a $450,000 Michigan Business Development Program grant. In addition, L&L received a 50% Alternative State Essential Services exemption valued at more than $532,600, and a Public Act 198 tax abatement.
Macomb County’s Planning and Economic Development team provided assistance to L&L from start to finish, including preparation of the PA 198 abatement application, support at village council meetings, guidance throughout the process and connection to valued partners to assist with hiring and training like Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! and Macomb Community College.
The expansion will help L&L Products remain competitive and support continued growth in the automotive sector. The expansion and installation of new machinery is expected to take two years to complete.
“L&L Products has made Macomb its home since 1961,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said. “The planned expansion in Romeo will ensure that L&L remains a major economic driver in the north end of the county. They have been a model citizen partner helping support our community in so many ways. We want to thank the entire team at L&L, and look forward to continuing our partnerships.”
“The timing for this news couldn’t be better for the village of Romeo,” added Village of Romeo President Meagan Poznanski. “L&L Products’ decision to expand its business here not only provides employment opportunities for our community, but maintains its business’ contribution to the growth and stability of Romeo’s industrial corridor. On behalf of the village, I would like to thank L&L for their continued representation that Romeo is a great place for businesses to develop and prosper.”
In addition to previous honors for its award-winning products, in 2022 L&L Products was named winner of the Detroit Free Press Michigan Top Workplaces Award. It also joined BASF, and Flex-N-Gate to win the Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Innovation Award for their composite seatback design on the 2022 Toyota Tundra.
L&L Products also has office and/or production facilities in South Carolina, Brazil and Mexico, as well as China, Australia, India, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia.
Is your business looking to expand or move into Macomb County? Call our Economic Development team at 586-469-5285.
Expansion -- Mayco International
Mayco expands its operations in Macomb County
Mayco International, a Tier 1 auto interior supplier, is expanding its operations in Macomb County by opening a new facility in Shelby Township.
Mayco, with its U.S. headquarters based in Sterling Heights, signed a 12-year lease agreement in Shelby Township this spring to meet the demands of one of its largest customers. The $91 million expansion is expected to create 300-400 jobs over the next three years. Mayco began moving into the building in June 2022 and expects to begin full production by February 2023.
With the help of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), along with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Mayco spent much of 2022 taking advantage of state and local incentives to assist with the expansion.
In September, MCPED worked with Mayco and Shelby Township to apply for an industrial facility tax abatement, which was approved in October. MCPED is continuing to coordinate meetings and stay connected to make sure all of Mayco’s needs will be met by its full production deadline, including their workforce needs.
If your company is looking to expand into Macomb County, call our Economic Development team at 586-469-5285.
Expansion -- Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber
Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber announces expansion plans into Shelby Township
Ohio-based thermal and acoustical solutions provider Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber has announced its expansion plans into Macomb County, which will include a $12.1 million investment and the creation of 75 new jobs.
“This attraction project is another win for our region and for the entire state,” Macomb County Planning and Economic (MCPED) Director Vicky Rowinski said. “It will create jobs and add to our already dynamic automotive supplier network. I know that our skilled and talented workforce played a role in this company's decision to locate in Macomb County, and I'm thrilled to see new investment in our community.”
Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber is a Tier 1 and 2 supplier of exterior acoustic and thermal products, serving major light vehicle and heavy truck manufacturers across the globe. Prior to this expansion, the company did not have a presence in Michigan.
The project is supported by a $375,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber chose Michigan for the project over competing sites Ohio and Canada because of its proximity to potential future contracts.
The company is acquiring Shelby Township-based G&G Industries and its assets, including the facility G&G is operating within. That includes the retention of 62 jobs. In addition, Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber is planning an expansion at the existing facility, where it will also produce fiberglass and exterior acoustic components to meet increasing demand.
The Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) was brought in to assist in making sure Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber had access to all of the resources available for a successful transition. MCPED also helped Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber with its tax abatement application. And the company will also be acquiring and training talent through Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! and Macomb Community College.
The company is determining the final size of its expansion and plans to break ground in 2023.
If your company is looking to expand into Macomb County, call our Economic Development team at 586-469-5285.
Expansion -- Magna
Magna expands into Macomb County
Magna, a mobility technology company and automotive supplier with its U.S. headquarters in Michigan, is investing $96.1 million in a Shelby Township project that will create 159 jobs.
Magna has been awarded a new powertrain business from an existing customer to manufacture internal components for electric vehicles. The company plans to lease an existing facility in the township. Magna chose the Shelby Township site over competing sites and will be supported by a $1.3 million Michigan Business Development Program grant.
The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved a five-year, 50% Alternative State Essential Services exemption valued at $369,837 in support of the Macomb County project.
Macomb County’s Economic Development team provided assistance to the MEDC throughout the process, including connecting Magna with employee hiring and training assistance via trusted partners MI Works! and Macomb Community College.
Is your business looking to expand or move into Macomb County? Call our Economic Development team at 586-469-5285.
Apprenticeship -- Eclipse Mold
Eclipse Mold gains apprenticeship program
Thanks in part to a meeting last October with the Macomb County Business Development team, Eclipse Mold in Clinton and Chesterfield townships now has a state-approved apprenticeship program.
Preliminary discussions took place at the annual Manufacturing Day in which Eclipse Mold was one of the many hosts across Macomb County.
A 44-year-old company, Eclipse Mold is a provider of quality-assured, self-engineered mold-making and injection molding services.
The company’s main concern in 2021 was its urgent need for toolmakers, since many of their current employees would be retiring in the next couple of years.
Macomb’s BD team and a Michigan Works! representative met with Eclipse Mold in November last year and then again in December with a Michigan Works! apprenticeship specialist and Macomb Community College to discuss the process of getting a toolmaker apprenticeship approved and in place.
Over several months, Macomb’s BD team, Michigan Works!, Macomb Community College and Eclipse Mold kept in contact to answer any questions the company might have and to ensure the process to certification was moving smoothly.
Michigan Works! played a key role in providing Eclipse Mold with a roadmap to the program and a blueprint for getting it started.
In mid-May, Eclipse Mold’s apprenticeship program became certified by the state. The company has already hired one apprentice and is looking to bring on three more.
If your company is interested in developing an apprenticeship program, call our Business Development team at 586-469-5285.
Expansion -- National Research Company
Business development team helps secure tax abatement in Chesterfield Township
With the help of the MCPED Senior Business Developer Curt Chowanic, National Research Company (NRC) was able to expand its operation in Chesterfield Township.
NRC, a recycling, waste materials recovery business located in the electric, gas and sanitary services sector, was able to obtain an eight-year tax abatement, saving the company about $212,000 over the life of the term.
Chowanic was able to secure an Industrial Development District (IDD) with Chesterfield Township, on Gratiot just south of 26 Mile Road. Once the IDD was established, Chowanic completed the tax abatement application process for NRC, which was approved by the township board.
The proposed 26,250-square-foot addition will expand NRC’s metal recovery and strategic minerals business and allow for the production of electric vehicle and battery ready materials. The expansion will serve as a pilot plant and testing center for new production and future expansions, allowing the company to remain competitive in the industry.
The expansion will also create 10-15 new jobs for NRC, and real and personal property investment is estimated at $2.25 million.
Businesses looking to expand or open new locations in Macomb County can always turn to MCPED and its business development team early in the process to handle the abatement process, ensuring maximum tax savings at no cost to them.
Contact Chowanic and the rest of the business development team at 586-469-5100.
Expansion -- Dick Huvaere's Richmond Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
Huvaere completes $14 million renovation and expansion
When Dick Huvaere’s Richmond Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram wanted to make a complete overhaul of its dealership in spring 2021, it turned to Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) for help. The $14 million renovation and expansion would include a new showroom floor, a state-of-the-art service department, parts department and car wash as well as create 30 new jobs. The project also included the installation of Level II and Level III fast chargers on site for PHEV/Electric vehicle owners.
On behalf of Huvaere, MCPED successfully reached an agreement with the Richmond City Council to establish a commercial rehabilitation district on the site. After the district was established, the MCPED team filled out the application (P.A. 210 Commercial Rehabilitation Act) asking for a commercial rehabilitation tax abatement and prepared all of the paperwork needed to accompany the application. The city awarded Huvaere a five-year tax abatement. Construction at the site, as well as 551,000 square feet of asphalt paving, plantings and decorative fencing, began in April 2021. Completion is expected in October 2022.
Attraction -- Parkdale Senior Living
Former Concorde inn converted to 157-unit senior living community
The former ConCorde Inn on Gratiot in Clinton Township has been converted into a 157-unit premier senior living community called Parkdale Senior Living with the help of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACE is a financing tool that can be secured with the help of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development that enables a cash flow-positive investment in comprehensive energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy projects.
By financing such projects through PACE, businesses can eliminate the need for upfront capital and spread the costs over up to 25 years, so that the savings generated from the project are greater than the annual PACE loan repayment – generating immediate positive cash flow. PACE financing allows a property owner to voluntarily enter into a special assessment agreement, which can be repaid over a period up to 25 years.
The MCPED role in the PACE project is similar to that of an abatement. PACE projects are vetted to make sure they qualify, and the environmental impact of the proposed project, in addition to investment and job creation is reviewed. MCPED assists in the preparation and review of the application and works with business and county officials to ensure all documents and a special assessment agreement are in place and are approved so that the business realizes the benefit of the incentive. PACE Equity’s $2.4 million loan went to four energy-conservation measures, including building envelope, LED lighting, HVAC, and low-flow water fixtures.
The $13.8-million project generated a savings to investment ratio of 1.06, and it is expected to save more than 11 million kilowatts of electricity and 6,006 metric tons of CO2, which is equivalent to eliminating 723 homes’ energy use for one year. Macomb County’s elected leaders created a countywide PACE district in October 2013 by joining the statewide Lean & Green Michigan PACE program. The Parkdale is the first PACE project at a senior living facility in Michigan and marks the third PACE project in Macomb County.