Michigan Moves To Snag 1,500 Jobs For Flint, Other Cities

Lear Corp. plans to build a $29.3 million automotive seating plant at General Motors' largely abandoned Buick City complex.

Michigan's economic development board on Tuesday approved state incentives designed to snag least 1,500 new jobs, including more than 400 to be created by an auto supplier that wants to build a seating assembly plant in the embattled city of Flint.

Southfield-based Lear Corp., which makes automotive seating and electrical systems, will qualify for a grant worth up to $4.35 million if it adds 435 jobs by mid-2020 at the new $29.3 million facility to be constructed on the site of General Motors' largely abandoned former Buick City complex.

Impoverished Flint is still recovering from a man-made crisis in which the water supply was tainted with lead. Lear will get a $10,000 incentive for each job that goes to a city resident and $5,000 for each non-resident hired.

Lear chose Michigan over Mexico for the project, which will support seating for a full-size truck program, according to a memo prepared for the Michigan Strategic Fund Board.

The board also approved two other big incentive packages Tuesday.

One is a $2.5 million grant to secure Reading, Pennsylvania-based Penske Logistics LLC's planned addition of 403 jobs by October 2021 at a new Midwest distribution warehouse in Romulus that could cost up to $98.6 million. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. said the incentive was needed because competitor Indiana's corporate income tax is set to decline.

The other project is a $2.9 million grant for LG Electronics USA Inc. to spend up to $25 million and create 292 jobs in Hazel Park and Troy by the end of 2021. LG plans to open a renewable battery plant in Hazel Park to supply the auto industry and to also expand its engineering and design facility in Troy.

The company had also considered locations in Ohio, Indiana and China, according to state memo.

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