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02. October 2008

USA - Premier Tool and Die plans expansion

DOWAGIAC - Premier Tool and Die Cast Corp. plans to locate a $4.2 million facility in Dowagiac, Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced.

The project is expected to create 62 jobs at the company over five years and an additional 46 spin-off jobs.

Premier will be located at 401 N. Paul St. in the former Muskegon Piston Ring plant what in recent years has been part of ICG.

Based on the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s (MEDC) recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) approved a state tax credit valued at $553,000 over seven years to win the company's investment over a competing site in Jamestown, N.Y.

Dowagiac is supporting the project by extending additional power capacity and anticipates approval of a tax abatement.

City Manager Kevin Anderson, who represented Dowagiac at the MEGA meeting in Lansing, said, "They're a good company with a proven track record. They should be good for the community."

He said attracting a new employer resulted from contacts made by Assistant City Manager Rozanne Scherr and economic development consultant Cindy LaGrow.

Anderson said Premier hopes to move into Dowagiac "quite quickly," hiring 19 workers the first year and 37 by the end of the following year.

Premier started in 1963 in Berrien Springs by producing zinc and aluminum die castings for a small customer base.

The company has since grown to include three additional facilities in Michigan and one in New York. Premier currently has 229 full-time employees in Michigan. Premier's customer base has expanded to more than 60 companies with worldwide products distribution. Its customer base includes companies such as General Motors, Toyota, Whirlpool, Steelcase and Cisco.

The Dowagiac facility will create aluminum die castings on high-speed, highly flexible and high-tolerance CNC machines.

According to the state, these jobs will pay an average weekly wage of $631. The company will also offer health care benefits and pay a portion of their cost.

According to an economic analysis done by MEDC utilizing Regional Economic Models Inc. software, it is estimated the facility will generate a total of 108 jobs in the state by 2015.

Total state government revenues through 2015, net of MEGA costs and adjusted for inflation, would be increased by $1.4 million due to the presence of this facility.

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