A German chemical company is building its $51 million North American headquarters south of Ann Arbor, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Wacker Chemical Corp.’s North American Innovation Center and Regional Headquarters in Pittsfield Charter Township will house its research and development operations and create 70 high-paying, high-skilled jobs over the next five years. A timeline for construction was not disclosed.
“Wacker’s expansion in Michigan means well-paying jobs for Michigan residents and underscores the strength of the state’s advanced manufacturing industry and talented workforce,” says Josh Hundt, chief business development officer and executive vice president at the MEDC.
“This new innovation center and regional headquarters continues to build on Michigan’s R&D leadership and sends yet another strong signal that Michigan’s economic recovery is well underway. We’re pleased that Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other states for this new headquarters facility, and we look forward to working with Wacker as they continue to grow and add jobs in Michigan.”
The headquarters will allow for enhanced employee collaboration and support the company’s long-term growth plans in Michigan. The building capacity of more than 300 employees will include those who will relocate from Wacker’s current regional headquarters in the city of Adrian.
Wacker will continue production of elastomers, silicone fluids, and silicone emulsions at its existing Adrian operations, with about two-thirds of the current employees remaining there.
This is Wacker’s second expansion in Michigan in recent years. In 2017, the company established a silicones research and development center in Ann Arbor.
The new project will receive a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund. Michigan was chosen for the headquarters over competing sites in Tennessee and Ohio. The project aligns with MEDC’s focus on attracting, retaining, and supporting business in advanced manufacturing and engineering, and design and development while fostering high-wage skills growth.
Wacker has on-the-job training with internal and external opportunities for advancement, is involved with schools and universities, and has an internship program.
“We are excited to move forward with our innovation center and regional headquarters to be located within Michigan,” says David Wilhoit, president and CEO of Wacker. “Our new facility will enable future growth in the state and serve as an important anchor for our operations across North America. This area is one of the nation’s leading communities for R&D. We look forward to networking with and recruiting from this highly educated and skilled talent base.”
Pittsfield Charter Township has offered a 50 percent property tax abatement in support of the project.
“Ann Arbor SPARK has worked with Wacker for more than four years, helping the company locate its R&D facility here, where it has access to the technical talent it needs to advance its business,” says Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK.
“Wacker has remained steadfast in its desire to stay in this region, despite attractive offers from other states vying for the company to relocate. All around, it’s gratifying to see this project advance and for Wacker to break ground on a permanent home in Pittsfield Township. Ann Arbor SPARK will continue to support Wacker’s future growth, especially as it works to hire workers at this new location.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is the state’s marketing arm and advocate for business development, job awareness, and community development.