FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2021
Gov. Whitmer Supports ‘Hero Pay’ for Frontline & Essential Workers
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced her support for “Hero Pay” for frontline and essential workers in Michigan. With billions in federal relief funding available, the “Hero Pay” proposal, which was put forward by Sen. Marshall Bullock (D-Detroit) and Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint), would provide one-time payments to essential employees for serving admirably through the pandemic as they kept the state and their fellow Michiganders moving.
“Today, we honor the untold sacrifices made by essential workers who stepped up for their families, communities, and the state of Michigan by paying them what they deserve,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The hundreds of thousands of folks who worked through the pandemic to keep the rest of us going embody what being a Michigander is all about: you care for your neighbors, you work hard, you get it done no matter the odds. We must ensure they have the support they need to thrive as we emerge from the pandemic together. I will fight alongside my colleagues in the Michigan House and Senate to ensure that frontline and essential workers get the hero pay they deserve as we continue our economic jumpstart, and I look forward to signing a piece of legislation that makes effective use of the federal stimulus dollars we have to invest in working families and communities. We cannot waste the opportunity we have to deliver meaningful change that makes a real difference in people’s lives, especially those who worked courageously through the pandemic ensuring the rest of us could live our lives as normally as possible.”
Currently, more than half of all occupations in the U.S. with a median wage below $15 per hour are considered essential. While some companies have stepped in to provide hero pay to frontline employees, many have not.
The resolutions put forward by the House and Senate Democrats build on previous actions Michigan took in using federal dollars to disburse hero pay to a group of frontline essential workers in public-sector-funded industries, including a one-time $1,000 for first responders and a $2-per-hour for direct-care workers who provided Medicaid-funded care.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2021
Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg, achtenbergk@
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces 245 manufacturing jobs with Tier 1 auto supplier in Southeast Michigan
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today to announce two projects in Southeast Michigan that will create 245 automotive manufacturing jobs and provide additional housing in Midtown Detroit have been approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund.
“Good paying jobs and housing that is attainable for our workforce remain critical drivers of economic opportunity as we jumpstart Michigan’s economy,” said Governor Whitmer.
“The expansion of Flex-N-Gate Troy means an additional 245 new jobs in Southeast Michigan and continues our leadership in advanced automotive manufacturing and mobility, while the new mixed-use development in Detroit will add critical housing to Midtown.”
Flex-N-Gate Troy establishing manufacturing facility in Troy, creating 245 jobs
Flex-N-Gate Group is a minority-owned American Tier 1 enterprise that operates globally and delivers a broad range of exterior and interior plastic, structural metal, advanced vehicle lighting and mechanical assembly automotive systems and components to automotive OEMs. Established in 2019, Flex-N-Gate Troy, LLC is a Flex-N-Gate Group member company created to supply sequenced plastic fascias and welded underbody rear rails.
The company will operate out of the former AxleTech facility in the city of Troy with an expected private investment of $52.1 million. The project is also creating 245 new jobs, resulting in a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other locations. Flex-N-Gate supports personal growth of its employees and makes every effort to hire, train, and promote from within. The company also utilizes Michigan Works! to reach local talent in disadvantaged areas and underrepresented employees.
“We are thrilled to once again be expanding Flex-n-Gate’s footprint in Michigan with our new manufacturing operation located in Troy. Flex-N-Gate truly appreciates the support that the city and state have shown regarding this project. The State of Michigan has been consistent in its support of all Flex-n-Gate growth plans and it is this consistency which keeps us coming back to Michigan,” said Flex-N-Gate Ex
The project will bring immediate jobs with a large auto supplier and will further solidify the company’s position in Michigan while aligning with MEDC’s strategic goals of retention and growth in the automotive and advanced manufacturing businesses in the state.
The city of Troy has provided support to the project with staff, financial and marketing assistance and extended a previously approved Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Program abatement for the property.
“The city of Troy is proud to welcome Flex-N-Gate and its employees to its new facility at 1400 Rochester Road in Troy. As a global Tier 1 auto supplier, Flex-N-Gate recognized the significant business advantages that come with a Troy location,” said Glenn Lapin, Troy Economic Development Specialist.
Individuals interested in careers with Flex-N-Gate Troy should visit https://jobs.flex-n-
Petit Bateau, LLC plans to construct two five-story mixed-use buildings, and four multi-family townhome buildings, on six parcels in the Cultural Center of Midtown Detroit. The Petit Bateau project will include the East Building, consisting of commercial space and 38 residential units, and the West Building, comprised of retail space, 38 residential units, and four multifamily townhome buildings with a total of 16 townhomes. The project will include a total of 92 residential units with 20 percent of those units set aside for individuals at 80 percent of area median income or below. The project will also include public improvements such as sidewalks, alley paving, curbs and a low-impact green storm water management system.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $30.9 million. The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of a brownfield work plan including state tax capture in the amount of $247,167 for the reimbursement of brownfield activities. The city of Detroit is supporting the project with the local portion of the brownfield Tax Increment Financing and a 15-year Neighborhood Enterprise Zone tax abatement valued at approximately $2.6 million. The city of Detroit is engaged with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
“Throughout the City, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is helping to activate vacant property into productive use,” said DEGC executive vice president Kenyetta Hairston-Bridges, Economic Development and Investment Services. “With the support of the City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, MEDC and MSF, Julio Bateau’s development will complete the last vacant block in Midtown, and provide both commercial space and affordable housing. The DEGC is proud to enable development that connects residents to the rich fabric of the neighborhood with its diverse housing, historic churches, schools, parks, and major cultural institutions.”
The project is putting a long-vacant property to new use, putting it back on the tax roll and offering necessary workforce housing, supporting MEDC strategic objectives including developing attractive places to retain and attract talent and creating more equitable access to attainable housing.
“We are working to retain and grow global companies like Flex-N-Gate who see the opportunity to grow and create good manufacturing jobs in Southeast Michigan, while supporting projects that create the vibrant communities that our workforce is able to live, work and play in,” said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are proud to work with our local partners on these two projects that will help to drive economic opportunity in the region.”
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org
New mixed-use development in Midtown Detroit will bring workforce housing and increased density to the area
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2021
Gov. Whitmer Signs Proclamation Marking June 17 as Essential Worker Appreciation Day
LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation marking June 17 as Essential Worker Appreciation Day.
“I am thankful for all of our essential workers for bravely stepping up throughout the pandemic to keep Michiganders safe and our economy running,” said Gov. Whitmer. “From staffing our hospitals to keeping our grocery store shelves stocked, essential workers selflessly served during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the well-being of their fellow Michiganders. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.”
“I am grateful for the essential workers who stood tall each day to keep our fellow Michiganders safe,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist. “We must remember that many of our essential workers are from communities of color that were disproportionally impacted by COVID-19. We must recommit ourselves to protecting worker’s safety, well-being, and economic security by continuing our work to eliminate racial health disparities and build Michigan into a safer, more inclusive state.”
“We could not have made it through the last 15 months as a state without the hard work, dedication and sacrifices of the working people on the front lines,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Hardworking folks in essential roles have risked their lives to care for the sick, keep us fed and clothed, deliver goods and deliver us where we need to go, and so much more. Today as a state we say thank you to everyone who’s risked their health and safety to keep our state running, and on behalf of working people we say thank you to the governor for doing what’s necessary to protect and support frontline workers throughout the pandemic.”
“This year was the toughest year of our lives. Essential workers are proud of how we showed up for our communities but now, we need support,” said Tamara Blue, nursing home CNA and member of SEIU Healthcare Michigan. “We’ve been called heroes, but not treated as such. We work hard, but still can’t afford basic needs, like rent and healthcare. Many of us can’t afford to take time off to recover after this traumatic year. It is time for that to change — for essential workers to be valued and respected. It means a lot to see Governor Whitmer recognizing the commitment and sacrifices of essential workers. We know lifting up essential workers is how we can build a better future, where all Michiganders can live with dignity and respect.”
Last year, Governor Whitmer launched the “Futures for Frontliners” program to provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who don’t have a college degree. To date, over 120,000 frontline workers applied for Futures for Frontliners.
View the full proclamation here.