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DENSO to invest over $37m in machinery and equipment at Michigan manufacturing facility

ABR Staff Writer Published 14 July 2016

Global auto supplier DENSO announced an investment of more than $37m in machinery and equipment to expand automation at its manufacturing facility in Battle Creek.

The investment supports localization of component manufacturing for several customers. The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) also awarded DENSO a performance-based grant for up to $687,500 to train current and future employees preparing for higher skilled jobs. The grant will also provide funds for English as a second language (ESL) training with a manufacturing focus that DMMI will create and share with the community.

DMMI President Andris Staltmanis said: "The jobs DENSO offers today are significantly different than when we started production in Battle Creek 30 years ago.

"We are excited to make this investment to train and prepare our current and future employees for these higher-skilled, higher-paying, sustainable jobs. This is a critical step to help DENSO stay competitive and we appreciate the support from the Michigan Strategic Fund."

DMMI has created 300 Lead Associate positions, a new, skills-based production job designed to support their next generation product manufacturing. MSF funding, combined with a $125,000 training and relocation incentive from Battle Creek Unlimited, will support both on-site training classes and formal instruction at Kellogg Community College. Lead Associates receive more than 130 hours of formal instruction in addition to extensive on-the-job training.

Staltmanis said: "In addition to Lead Associate training, DMMI is excited to develop and share ESL training designed for manufacturing careers.

"Helping our ESL employees be more successful on the job will open pathways for them to move up in the company and realize their potential."

Manufacturing-focused ESL curriculum will also benefit the community through partnerships with local cultural and educational institutions who will be invited to use and adapt the materials.

Staltmanis said: "A more educated community reaps benefits beyond where the employee works.

"DENSO is the largest manufacturing operation in Battle Creek, but our partners in the Fort Custer Industrial Park and other areas will also be able to access this specialized information to benefit their workforce and the broader community."

DMMI is planning to hire 125 employees as a part of the investment and training initiative. A job fair to fill more than 60 open direct hire manufacturing and skilled trades positions will be held on Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their Battle Creek facility.

Source: Company Press Release