Michigan Strategic Fund Approves $4.4M+ to Support Business Expansion in SE Michigan

The Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Strategic Fund has approved more than $1.9 million in support of 10 nonprofit initiatives to advance the state’s national leadership in advanced manufacturing.
Mayville Engineering Co.
MEC’s new facility in southeast Michigan is expected to create 365 jobs. // Photo courtesy of MEC

The Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Strategic Fund has approved more than $1.9 million in support of 10 nonprofit initiatives to advance the state’s national leadership in advanced manufacturing.

In addition, the MSF approved $2.5 million for Wisconsin-based Mayville Engineering Co. Inc. to bring an advanced manufacturing operation to southeast Michigan. The company already has four facilities in Michigan.

“The project and initiatives approved today build on our state’s advanced manufacturing strengths and attractiveness as a place to do business,” says Josh Hundt, chief business development officer and executive vice president at the MEDC. “Today’s actions reflect our continued focus on supporting projects and initiatives that uphold our mission of enabling equitable economic prosperity for all Michigan residents.”

The grants to the nonprofits provide regional Industry 4.0 programming and services to increase manufacturers’ readiness to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies. The funding is part of an MEDC-led effort to ensure that 50 percent of Michigan manufacturers — or 6,200 businesses — are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies at some level by 2025.

Grants were approved for the following organizations:

  • American Lightweight Materials Innovation Institute (LIFT), $335,372.
  • Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, $197,985.
  • Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, $138,425.
  • Great lakes Bay Manufacturers Association, $106,175.
  • Lakeshore Advantage, $92,787.
  • Lean Rocket lab, $244,671.
  • Macomb County Planning and Economic Development, $115,500.
  • Manufacturing Growth Alliance (Regions 1 and 3), $199,744.
  • Manufacturing Growth Alliance (Region 8), $271,851.
  • Networks Northwest, $275,000.

Industry 4.0 is defined as the convergence of digital and physical technologies, including artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, robotics, augmented, and virtual reality, the cloud and cybersecurity.

Mayville Engineering Co. expects to establish a flagship manufacturing facility in southeast Michigan that will add capacity while also showcasing its ability to deliver high-value and high-profile products. The project is expected to generate a total business investment of $51.5 million (which includes machinery and equipment, leasehold improvements, and annual lease/Opex costs), and create 365 jobs within two years as well as add 22 new jobs at the company’s existing facility in Byron Center.

“Opening this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility later this year is an integral part of our long-term plans,” says Bob Kamphuis, chairman, president, and CEO of MEC. “We are pleased to be expanding our presence in Michigan, and selected southeast Michigan due to the availability of a highly skilled manufacturing workforce in the area. We are grateful for the support of the state of Michigan and look forward to investing in the facility.”

For information on careers with MEC, visit here.

The MSF also approved $800,000 in funding to continue the Michigan Build Ready Sites Program in 2021. The program is designed to assist communities in their efforts to attract and retain businesses by increasing the inventory of project-ready industrial sites.

The program will provide financial or technical support through applications from communities, nonprofits, or local economic development organizations to fund activities that will increase Michigan’s inventory of development-ready industrial sites. Activities could include site development studies or site material development, site implementation or land assembly activities, and more.

To date, 59 grants totaling $4.5 million have been awarded for site readiness projects around the state, with 24 projects completed to date. For more information, visit here.

In addition, the MSF approved the authorization of private activity bond financing not to exceed $700 million, as part of the Flint water settlement.

The settlement was agreed to last year by the state parties and the plaintiffs’ legal counsel following more than 18 months of negotiations. It received preliminary approval by the court earlier this year.

Through that negotiated settlement agreement, and subsequent bipartisan legislation, the MSF was identified to facilitate the transaction and issue the bonds that will finance the settlement over a 30-year period. The newly created Flint Water Advocacy Fund will borrow the settlement funds through the MSF and transfer the funds to the settlement administrator, per the agreement.

The state of Michigan will be responsible for the settlement payments of approximately $35 million a year for up to 30 years, an obligation that will be included as part of the annual appropriations process. As is the case with all bond inducements or authorizations, there is no financial risk or financial exposure to the MEDC.

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