Dakkota Integrated Systems in Holt (south of Lansing) plans to build a $55 million, 600,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Detroit’s east side to supply parts to Auburn Hills-based FCA. The facility is expected to create 625 jobs and will be located at the site of the vacant Kettering and Rose schools.
“As soon as we finished the FCA deal, we immediately got to work to bring suppliers to the area. Today, we’re announcing one of the first, thanks to Andra Rush and Dakkota, which will bring hundreds more jobs to the east side,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Even better, Dakkota has agreed to give Detroiters first shot at these jobs, and residents can sign up to prepare for these jobs today through Detroit at Work.”
Construction is expected to begin within 60 days of the closing. The plant is slated to begin operating assembly lines in late 2020.
Dakkota has committed to recruit from the Detroit at Work priority application list for Detroit residents. Returning citizens will also have an opportunity to apply, as Dakkota’s application does not ask whether an applicant has been convicted of a felony.
“Our mission is to profitably create jobs and develop top talent, all while exceeding our customers’ expectations,” says Andra Rush, president and CEO of Dakkota. “We’re so proud to support FCA, provide employment opportunities in Detroit, and showcase world-class quality auto parts built by hardworking Detroiters. We appreciate the mayor and his team for helping us make this happen. This is a win for all parties.”
The facility will supply parts to FCA Michigan-based manufacturing facilities. Jobs will be in assembly operations, material handling, quality inspection, skilled trades, and logistics.
Dakkota will first interview applicants from a list of Detroit residents who have registered through Detroit at Work. Applicants can be included on the priority list by living in Detroit, meeting Dakkota’s job criteria, and attending a Detroit at Work job readiness event. Residents can pre-register here to attend one of these events.
The events are taking place across the city this summer to ensure residents meet the minimum qualifications to be hired at Dakkota and other supplier plants. Those who are unable to meet all requirements will be offered assistance through Detroit at Work to help them become eligible when the early application window opens.
Resources are available at three Detroit at Work Career Centers, located at Samaritan Center at 5555 Conner, SER Metro at 9301 Michigan Ave., and Northwest Activities Center at 18100 Meyers.
Dakkota purchased about 32 acres of land from the Detroit Public Schools Community District for $2.6 million. Kettering High School has been vacant since 2012, and Rose Elementary School closed in 2006. Dakkota plans to preserve the blue Kettering “K” on its site and move existing park equipment to a new location.
The project will seek endorsements in the fall, including a zoning change request from residential to manufacturing and city council approval. The administration is also expected to request council and Michigan Strategic Fund approval on a 10-year Detroit Next Michigan Development Corp. Renaissance Zone abatement on real property, corporate income taxes, and utility user taxes.
The city and Dakkota also plan to lead a community engagement process to communicate the impact of the project on surrounding neighborhoods and work with residents to address community concerns.
“This is the first of what we expect to be several new industrial facilities created by FCA’s presence in Detroit,” says Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. “We are building a vertical supply chain in Detroit that can satisfy any automotive demand and extending Detroit’s global leadership in the auto and mobility sectors.”
Dakkota has 14 locations in the U.S. and Canada.