Johnson Controls Invests $16.9M in Monroe; State Launches Career Program

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Johnson Controls Interior Manufacturing, an automotive supplier for major OEMs, plans to invest up to $16.9 million into its existing facilities in Frenchtown Charter Township in Monroe County. The project, expected to create up to 182 jobs, was awarded an $800,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. on Wednesday.

Frenchtown Charter Township has also approved a 12-year property abatement for the project, with the request that new positions are first advertised in the township and surrounding areas, says Jim McDevitt, supervisor of the township.

“Johnson Controls took over when Plastech (a former Tier 1 supplier) went belly up a few years ago,” McDevitt says. “It’s helped with the creation of jobs and bringing money back into the local economy.”

In related news, the MEDC announced today that a new partnership with a network of community colleges will promote training opportunities for in-demand careers to Michigan high school students.

“Today, too few workers have the skills needed to meet the demands of employers in the new economy,” says Gov. Rick Snyder. “One of the most common issues is around the lack of knowledge that high school students have about in-demand careers and training programs. Through the Career Jump Start program, we will encourage students to consider training opportunities that will provide them with critical work skills for those high-demand careers.”

Through the initiative, groups including employers and trade unions will educate students about associate degree programs, apprenticeships, and other training opportunities available post-high school. Likewise, community colleges in 10 regions around the state — including the Workforce Intelligence Network in southeast Michigan — will house “career liaison specialists,” who will provide resources to high school counselors, administrators, parents, and teachers.

Through improved connectivity between employers and the K-12 system, high school graduates in Michigan will be more informed about, and connected to, high-demand career options, says the MEDC.

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