Granholm Visits Growing High-Tech Company Gentex Corporation in Zeeland

Contact: Megan Brown 517-335-6397

June 10, 2008

Discusses economic plan to grow jobs and the economy

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today visited Gentex Corporation, a high-tech company that supplies state-of-the-art electronic products for the global automotive industry and the North American fire protection market.  The governor thanked the company for its continued commitment and investment in Michigan and cited Gentex as an excellent example of the kind of company we want to help grow here in Michigan.  A key part of Granholm's economic plan to grow Michigan's economy is to help companies create jobs in Michigan's emerging technologies.  
 
"Gentex is a prime example of a company we are targeting to transform our economy and grow jobs here in Michigan," Granholm said.  "Companies are choosing to invest in Michigan because of our competitive business climate, outstanding workforce, and our unmatched quality of life."
  
Gentex is the world's leading supplier of electrochromic, automatic-dimming rearview mirrors for the automotive industry and develops advanced smoke detectors and signaling devices for the commercial fire-protection market.  Gentex Corporation employs 2,800 people in Zeeland, approximately 20 percent in technology positions.  Gentex completed a new research and development center in Zeeland in 2006, and the company added more than 300 jobs in 2007.  The company continues to grow in automotive markets because of the development of new technologies.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has supported the company's growth in Michigan through nearly $400,000 in Economic Development Job Training (EDJT) grants and other assistance.
 
"Gentex Corporation's growth in Zeeland is truly a win-win," Granholm said.  "Our industries benefit from new high-tech products, while our communities benefit from the jobs."
 
In her 2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century.  Since January 2005, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 237,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.

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