Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce two business expansion projects expected to create a total of 75 new jobs and retain 44 existing jobs that have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The projects are in Ithaca and Jonesville and are expected to generate a total private investment of nearly $2.5 million.
“Today’s investments will create and retain 119 good-paying jobs in Ithaca and Jonesville and build on Michigan’s manufacturing strength,” said Governor Whitmer. “By working across the aisle to develop and implement bipartisan economic development tools, we have created and secured thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs and brought home billions of dollars of investment and critical supply chains. I will work with anyone and compete with everyone to grow our economy, win more advanced manufacturing investments, and build a state where families, communities, and businesses can thrive.”
“By choosing to expand in Michigan, these companies recognize the value of our state’s manufacturing leadership, well-connected supply chain and customer reach,” said MEDC Sr. Vice President of Regional Prosperity Matt McCauley. “These projects demonstrate Team Michigan’s commitment to building the state’s economy and supporting growth in our communities. We are grateful to Governor Whitmer, legislators of both parties and local officials for their continued support of our efforts to make Michigan an even better place to call home. Our work continues, but today’s announcement adds to the momentum we’ve been building on behalf of the 10 million-plus Michiganders across the state.”
Ultra-Fit Manufacturing U.S.A. Incorporated is a subsidiary of Ultra-Fit Manufacturing Incorporated (Ultra-Fit). Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Ultra-Fit provides tube bending and parts manufacturing, covering a broad range of processes, from complex tube bending and forming to welded fabrication and sub-assemblies. The company does not currently have a location in Michigan.
Ultra-Fit has acquired a strategic competitor, Bay Alphi Manufacturing, located in the city of Jonesville where it will continue its operation, and changing its name to Ultra-Fit Manufacturing U.S.A. The facility will continue to service existing customers of Bay Alphi and will be used to design and manufacture original equipment and performance exhaust products, as well as complex tube bending and forming for welded fabrication and sub-assemblies for Ultra-Fit overall.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of approximately $1.5 million and create 63 jobs as well as retain 44 existing jobs, supported by a $630,000 Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP) performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over its existing facility in Ontario due to the strong auto industry and extended customer reach.
“We are very pleased and excited about this complementary and strategic acquisition and the added growth that can come from having a manufacturing facility located in Michigan,” said Pat Cerullo, President of Ultra-Fit. “We would like to thank the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for their support and look forward to a bright future for our company in Michigan.”
The project will bring good manufacturing jobs to the region and build on the state’s automotive supply chain. Ultra-Fit supports the personal growth of its employees by offering training programs and opportunities for advancement from within. The project will serve as the company’s first operations in the U.S. and could lead to additional investment in Michigan.
“The Economic Development Partnership and City of Jonesville greatly appreciate Paul Krepps of the MEDC for bringing this growth project to our community,” said Susan Smith, Executive Director. “We had the pleasure of meeting the executives of Ultra-Fit and look forward to our new partnership with them in the future. This project is a great economic boost for Hillsdale County.”
The city of Jonesville is assisting the company with finding candidates for the newly created positions. Individuals interested in careers with Ultra-Fit should visit www.ultrafitmanufacturing.com.
Aircraft Precision Products, Inc. (APPI) focuses on precision machining, thermal coating and other metalworking. The company is a leading component supplier for the commercial and military aircraft engine industries and supplies components for aerospace, locomotive and medical equipment. The company was established in 1946 and began operations in Ithaca in 1972, where it currently has 65 employees.
APPI is pursuing a new opportunity with GE to become the main supplier of several components for the LEAP engine, used on the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A-320. Due to this increased demand, APPI plans to establish a high-volume machining cell at its existing facility in Ithaca to manufacture the components currently being produced in China.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $1 million and create 12 jobs with the support of a $100,000 Micro Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant which is needed to help bring the production onshore as well as to hire and train additional employees.
APPI provides complete benefits packages to its employees and encourages employee advancement by offering tuition reimbursement. The project will bring immediate job growth in advanced manufacturing to the region and will solidify the company’s presence and future investment in the state.
“While equipment is important, ultimately it is people who make the difference,” said APPI President Bill Henderson. “The men and women at APPI have the know-how and character to compete. We are grateful MEDC is helping provide the necessary tools to win work back for Michigan.”
Greater Gratiot Development, Inc. and the Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! are prepared to assist the company in finding and training candidates for the newly created positions.
“Aircraft Precision Products, Inc. has been a reliable corporate citizen and community partner within the city of Ithaca for over 50 years,” said Greater Gratiot Development President James E. Wheeler, II. “We are very excited for their continued growth in our area and will work collaboratively with our state partners to support their expansion efforts with business consultation services and employee recruitment and training efforts.”
The Micro Michigan Business Development Program (MMBDP) is designed to promote business growth, especially in rural areas or areas with high unemployment as well as target industries. The MMBDP provides grants, loans or other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that have fewer job creation numbers than required by the original MBDP guidelines.