Keeping Jobs Local: Why Investing In The Motor City Is Important

By Lori Melton

Ford Motor Company recently announced it’s investing $350 million in its Livonia Transmission Plant, which will allow for production of a new front-wheel-drive transmission and add 800 new jobs at the plant. Per the Detroit Free Press, this investment is in addition to Ford’s $1.4 billion investment at the same plant last year, which brought 500 jobs with it. The local economy has suffered many ups and downs in the past few decades. Therefore, investments like these are critical to the Motor City’s future growth and revitalization. Here’s a look at some other companies who are setting up shop in and around Detroit.

Maintaining Rich Industrial History

As home to the Big Three automakers—Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler—the Motor City has a long, rich history as an industrial giant. Detroit, in fact, has historically been considered the capital of the American automotive industry.

Ford isn’t the only automaker that is committed to keeping jobs local. Earlier this year, GM announced adding 220 jobs at its Romulus Powertrain Plant. In 2015, the company announced a $1 billion, four-year plan to expand the Warren Tech Center, which will revamp the space and add 2,600 jobs over the course of investment.

“This is an investment in our people who work at the Tech Center because it is positioning the company for long-term growth by enabling new levels of innovation and collaboration,” Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president for global product development, said in a Detroit Free Press statement. “We will transform this campus into a collaborative workplace of choice for our current team and future talent.”

Time-Honored Craftsmen Bank on Detroit

Shinola Detroit is determined to be a champion in the “reinvigoration of a storied American brand, and a storied American city.” The custom watch and bicycle makers transformed 30,000 square feet of space inside General Motors’ historic Argonaut building into a state-of-the-art watch factory. The company makes watches, leather goods and bicycles. But, the community-based company is most proud of the hundreds of jobs they’ve created in Detroit and nationwide.

In 2018, Bedrock Detroit, Gachot Studios and Kraemer Design Group is partnering with Shinola to bring the Shinola Hotel to Downtown Detroit. This venture will create new jobs and also attract visitors to the city.

Retail Giants Put Down Motor City Roots

Seattle-based online retail giant Amazon.com is reportedly adding two Detroit-based facilities. The first will be located in Livonia and will create at least 1,000 full-time jobs through 2020. The second is targeted for Romulus and will create 1,600 jobs, pending a $5 million investment assistance from the Michigan Strategic Fund.

The projected expansion is a win-win for Detroit and the global online retailer. “Amazon is constantly investigating new locations to support the growth and increase the flexibility of its North American network to address customers’ needs,” spokesman Shevaun Brown said in an email to The Detroit News.

Detroit-based facilities would enable Amazon to increase order-filling efficiency by adding a distribution arm to service cities across Michigan within a few hours’ drive, and even some of the bigger cities in Ohio and northern Indiana. Amazon’s presence would also expand and diversify Detroit’s rapidly growing business portfolio.

 

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