July 13, 2016

Denso to make $37M investment at B.C. plant, add jobs

Denso Manufacturing Michigan Inc. President Andris Staltmanis. (Photo: Provided)

Denso Manufacturing Michigan Inc. plans to invest more than $37 million in new machinery and equipment to expand automation at its Battle Creek facility, adding 125 jobs as a part of the investment to support new initiatives, the company said Wednesday. The global automotive supplier said the investment “supports localization of component manufacturing” for several of its customers. It is the largest investment into the plant since last year’s $53.6 million expansion of its auto components manufacturing operations (/story/news/local/2015/03/18/denso-adding-jobs-million-expansion /24982181/) and is consistent with the company’s ongoing investments since opening in Battle Creek in 1986. Additionally, the company has received a $687,500 performance grant, awarded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., to “train current and future employees.” The grant also will be used for English as a second language training with a manufacturing focus for its associates.

“The jobs Denso offers today are significantly different than when we started production in Battle Creek 30 years ago,” Denso President Andris Staltmanis said in a news release. “We are excited to make this investment to train and prepare our current and future employees for these higher-skilled, higherpaying, sustainable jobs.

“This is a critical step to help Denso stay competitive and we appreciate the support from the Michigan Strategic Fund.”

With the funding — as well as a $125,000 training and relocation incentive from Battle Creek Unlimited — Denso has created 300 new lead associate positions, which have been described as a “skills-based production job designed to support next generation product manufacturing.”

It will use some of the funding to support on-site training and formal instruction at Kellogg Community College, the company said. Lead associates are expected to receive 130 hours of formal instruction and extensive on-the-job training.

Michigan Works! also will support the expansion with a $50,000 job training grant, according to BCU.

“Battle Creek Unlimited has enjoyed working closely with Denso, a company that has gone above and beyond to help the city of Battle Creek and the families that live here,” BCU’s interim President Joe Sobieralski said. “We are thrilled Denso chose Battle Creek for this expansion and look forward to continue to support them as they grow jobs and investment in our community.”

Denso is planning to hire 125 employees as a part of its investment and training initiative. It also will hold a job fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 30 at its Battle Creek plant to fill more than 60 direct hire manufacturing and skilled trades jobs.

July 13, 2016, The Battle Creek Enquirer