LANSING (WWJ) — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced approval of Michigan Business Development Program incentives to three companies planning expansions in the state. The projects are expected to generate nearly $86 million in investments and add 600 new jobs in Michigan.

The projects approved today:

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* Detroit Diesel Corp. plans to expand manufacturing and assembly capacity at its current plant in Redford Township to include production of a new asymmetric turbocharger and truck transmission assembly. The company, a member of the Daimler group based in Detroit, plans to invest up to $77.2 million and create 50 new jobs, resulting in a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program incentive. Michigan was chosen over a sister facility in Mexico. Redford Township has offered a 12-year property tax abatement valued at $6.6 million.

* GKN Driveline North America, a subsidiary of England’s GKN plc, plans to expand its existing automotive engineering and testing services operations in Auburn Hills, investing $5.1 million and creating 50 new jobs. As a result, the company is being awarded a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites, including North Carolina. Auburn Hills has also offered a property tax abatement.

GKN said construction of the 168,000-square-foot center is scheduled to begin in August on an 11.2-acre site at 2150 N. Opdyke Road, the location of a now-vacant Showcase Cinema complex. The site will house employees from GKN Driveline, GKN Sinter Metals, GKN’s Land Systems and North American Services groups.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills since 1986, GKN has more than 300 employees at its current 113,000-square-foot facility at 3300 University Drive. Employment is expected to grow by 50 or more full-time employees in the next three years.

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* Teleperformance USA, based in Utah, plans to open a new inbound customer care center in Cascade Charter Township to support a major telecommunications firm. Teleperformance plans to invest nearly $3.8 million and create up to 500 new jobs, resulting in a $600,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Texas, Florida, Utah, Ohio, Louisiana and New York. The Right Place Inc., the Grand Rapids-based non-profit economic development organization, has offered staff time and resources to support the project.

“Today’s projects all mean more jobs and greater economic opportunities for people across Michigan,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We have greatly improved Michigan’s business climate and infrastructure, creating new paths to business growth, and these changes are showing strong results.”

The Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing.

State officials consider a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and net-positive return to the state. Business retention and retail projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.

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