Granholm Tours Smiths Aerospace Corporation, Calls Company Example of Job Creation Package's Potential

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

December 6, 2005
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today visited Smiths Aerospace Corporation to discuss the impact of the $2 billion job creation package she signed into law last month.  Under the plan, which the Governor first called for in her State of the State Address last January, Michigan will invest nearly $1.5 billion dollars to grow thousands of jobs in four key growth areas:  life sciences, advanced manufacturing, alternative energy, and homeland security.  The state’s investment is expected to leverage an additional billion dollars or more in private investment.
“The outstanding work being done at Smiths Aerospace is clear evidence that Michigan already has a strong foothold in the homeland security industry,” said Granholm.  “By investing billions in critical areas like homeland security, we can build on our existing strengths, diversify our economy, and create thousands of new, good-paying jobs.”
The Governor’s jobs plan will capitalize on the best research and commercialization opportunities in the four key growth areas in order to create good-paying, high-tech jobs that can’t be outsourced.  In addition, the bills will create:
•  up to $450 million through the Venture Capital Investment fund to help start-up companies succeed;
•  new tax incentives to encourage investors to make and keep their investment dollars here in Michigan;
•  an improved business climate with lower fees and less red tape for new businesses in Michigan;
•  new incentives to encourage life sciences companies to use Michigan suppliers and services.
After touring the facility, the Governor spoke with area high school and college students about the exciting opportunities available once they complete their degrees.  The Governor noted that the state is already home to more than 230 defense contractors, many of whom are located in West Michigan.  Michigan-based companies were awarded more than $2.6 billion in federal Department of Defense contracts last year.
“Michigan was built on innovation and this $2 billion investment will ensure that the next generation of innovation will occur right here,” Granholm said.  “This investment will make Michigan a hot-bed of entrepreneurialism by providing the capital to help small start-up companies and high-tech firms turn their great ideas into medical cures, clean energy and technological advancement in manufacturing and defense.”
British-owned Smiths Aerospace is a world leader in production of digital, electrical and mechanical systems and engine components which are integrated into virtually every American and British military aircraft.  The company’s North American headquarters are in Cascade Township, Michigan.  In June, Smiths Aerospace announced it would expand this operation and also locate a new business center at the site.  The $24 million investment is expected to bring total employment at the Michigan facility to almost 1,500.
“Our business continues to grow as a result of our strong integration capabilities and advanced technology for military and commercial aircraft,” said Bob Ehr, president of Smiths Aerospace digital and electrical power operations.  “Michigan offers us the ability to advance technology in the aerospace industry through competitive education, favorable economic conditions and a skilled, stable workforce.”
The job creation package that became law last month is just one part of Granholm’s 5-point economic plan.  The Governor has also proposed legislation to restructure business taxes in Michigan in order to keep jobs here; fast-forward public infrastructure projects, including road projects and nursing home improvement, to create thousands of jobs today; match unemployed citizens with businesses that need workers right now; and make college accessible to all.
# # #