Following a $30 million capital investment, global automotive supplier Yanfeng announced it has exceeded it hiring goals and now employs more than 675 people at its retooled, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Highland Park.
“At Yanfeng, all eyes are on Highland Park as we launch innovative automotive interior components,” says Tony Elenbaas, vice president and general manager, North America for Yanfeng.
“This plant represents a significant investment for our company in the region and is a benchmark facility in our network. Michigan is essential for us and offers top-tier talent as we send just-in time parts deliveries to our customer.”
The 220,000-square-foot facility, which assembles automotive interior components including cockpits, floor consoles, and door panels, underwent a complete redesign.
The upgrades included new manufacturing equipment, plastic injection molding and automation systems, automated guided vehicles, advanced manufacturing, and warehouse management software systems, as well as an integrated overhead storage and retrieval system.
“Talent is the single most important factor in locating decisions for every employer in every market,” says Maureen Donohue Krauss, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership. “What companies find in our region is a deeper, more diverse and highly skilled labor market that’s uniquely qualified to help innovate in advanced and smart manufacturing.”
With support of the Detroit Regional Partnership, Yanfeng set a comprehensive hiring strategy, which included workforce initiatives such as the Michigan Advanced Technician Training programs through Henry Ford Community College. It also connected with partners such as the Autism Alliance of Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and SEMCA Michigan Works!, to access diverse, non-traditional groups of candidates.
“We have had remarkable growth in a short period of time and we’re looking to add more staff,” says Taneisha Upshaw, human resources manager at the Highland Park facility, which started the hiring process in January, expanding its staff from 250 people and working toward a goal of 830 employees.
“Working with the Detroit Regional Partnership, Autism Alliance, and other partners, we are able to hire quality employees through diverse talent pools that we might not have identified otherwise.”
Yanfeng has eight technical centers and plants, including its North American headquarters in Novi. In total, the company employs more than 3,700 people in the state of Michigan, the company’s largest talent cluster in the U.S.