EDA Shares 2016 Results and Recognizes Area Businesses

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, the Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County hosted its Semi-Annual Luncheon at Alexander's Banquet Center in Marysville, Michigan.  The luncheon featured keynote speaker, Trevor Lauer.  Mr. Lauwer is President and Chief Operating Officer at DTE Electric, an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. 

The EDA shared that 2016 was a very good year for St. Clair County and Greater Port Huron with strong investment in medical, automotive, logistics and retail. The region had $103 million in countywide investment, 759 new jobs and 32 expansion projects last year. 

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Grifols opening new Talecris Plasma Resources plasma donor center in Port Huron, MI.

Grifols is pleased to announce the opening of its newest donor center in Port Huron.  This state-of-the-art 15,000 square foot facility is the latest addition to Grifols' extensive plasma collection network.  Grifols is a global healthcare company that produces life-saving plasma medicines for people with rare, chronic and life-threatening conditions.   

The center has currently hired 25 people from the local area, with expectations to increase to 40 to 50 employees as the center expands their operations.  Grifols invested $2.5 million in the construction and set up of the the donor center, whose design will incorporate new industry technologies including Donor Doc, a donor-self registration platform that helps improve donor screening efficiency.  

Grifols projects it will ultimately contribute over $6.0 million each year to the local economy through payroll, donor fees and other operating expenses.  
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P.J. Wallbank Springs Expansion to Create 68 jobs and $803,000 Investment

Port Huron, Michigan – January 11, 2017  

P.J. Wallbank Springs, Inc., founded 35 years ago in Port Huron, is the global leader in the design and manufacture of spring packs for automatic transmissions.  An engineering focused company, the organization started by designing and building its own proprietary manufacturing equipment in order to produce its spring packs, a strategy it continues to utilize to this day.  Today, the organization exports 40% of its production outside of the United States, with over 60% of its export volume being shipped to China.  Core to the organization’s long term success, has been the organization’s people.

The company is currently experiencing significant growth, where production will more than double through 2018.  This growth is a function not only of domestic growth, but also of export growth.  PJWS plans to double the current number of customers in China and triple the current number of customers in Europe in the next three years.  As a result of this growth, the organization plans to expand its existing facility in Port Huron, investing $803,000 and creating 68 jobs.

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Capital Expansion at ALD Thermal Treatment

St. Clair County, Michigan

ALD Thermal Treatment, on 24th Street, has recently begun a multi-million dollar expansion plan to accommodate space and equipment for new long-term business agreements.  ALD is a major heat treat supplier to the automotive and aerospace industries and was recently awarded multi-year contracts with General Motors to provide heat treatment for critical engine and transmission components.  These contracts, along with several other recently attained agreements, in addition to numerous current programs, extend well into the next decade. 

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Marine City Hotel (Inn On Water Street) Groundbreaking

A 26-unit, three-story boutique hotel including four condominiums is slated to open at the former site of Terhune Automotive on Bridge Street by summer 2018.

A groundbreaking for the inn took place Oct. 25, attracting nearly 60 people including Marine City Mayor Ray Skotarczyk, St. Clair County Commissioner Bill Gratopp, state Rep. Dan Lauwers and Sen. Phil Pavlov, as well as representatives from the multiple organizations that assisted in getting the project started.

The project is the largest private investment for the city in decades, officials said. It took the effort of federal, state, county and local resources to come to fruition.

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DTE Energy Announces $1.5 billion investment in St. Clair County Power Plant

DTE Energy announced plans to build new electric generation capacity natural-gas powered plants worth between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in 2023.  The plant(s) will generate 1,000 megawatts of power, enough to serve 850,000 homes.

In June, the company announced its intentions of retiring the coal-fired St. Clair Power Plant, as well as those in River Rouge and Trenton, by 2023. The St. Clair Power Plant sits on the St. Clair River in East China Township and is contiguous to the Belle River plant.

The new plant will mean cleaner air for local residents and make a dent in carbon dioxide emissions, the main driver of climate change.

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Yen Group, LLC -Invests $10.2 Million in Manufacturing Facility in Port Huron Industrial Park

Yen Group, LLC -is a newly established entity that will focus on fulfilling purchase orders of engine blocks, heads and other engine components for customers that have requirements that are consistent with their business objectives, including their partner company in Indiana.  Yen Group plans to reopen a closed manufacturing facility in the city of Port Huron, investing more than $10.2 million and creating 80 jobs. As a result of the expansion, the project has been awarded a $400,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over the partner site in Indiana. The city of Port Huron has offered to host a job fair in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Yen Group should email careers@yengroup.us.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of Yen Group, LLC in Port Huron, Michigan.  Our goal is simple, to restore the operations that once thrived in this facility and create new job growth for the community.  Our employees at Yen Group are our most important assets and we look forward to creating a world class manufacturing foundation with them.  Our initiative to retain manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and the technical ability of the Michigan work force has driven this decision to launch in Port Huron and we look forward to a very bright future.” – David Yen, President. 

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I-69 Thumb Region's Catapult Your Craft Food & Beverage Business Competition

The I-69 Thumb Region, a seven county partnership, today announced the launch of the I-69 Thumb Region’s Catapult Your Craft Food & Beverage Business Competition.   This unique competition is both local and regional.  Each of the seven counties in Region 6 will host a local competition, and the winners will move on to the regional competition.  There will be cash prizes for the local and regional winners totaling $30,000.

The I-69 Thumb Region Catapult Your Craft Food & Beverage Business Competition aims to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners to start or grow their craft food or beverage businesses.  The competition will help retain and grow Michigan businesses by providing capital to expand production and increase jobs, grow value-added agriculture by establishing craft ag businesses that will increase value of local commodities, and expand assistance to communities throughout the region.

The I-69 Thumb Region includes Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Tuscola.

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I-69 Thumb Region Agri-Tourism Directory Makes Buying Local Easy

(Port Huron, Mich. – Sept. 6, 2016) Labor Day weekend marked the unofficial end of summer and the start of the harvest season, otherwise known as fall. As the temperature begins to cool and the air turns crisp, our tastes in outdoor fun and food tends to take on a different flavor, too.

To help plan your fall day trip or weekend excursion, check out the I-69 Thumb Region’s Agri-Tourism Directory.

 Covering seven counties in eastern Michigan (Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron and Tuscola), the I-69 Thumb Region offers a range of agricultural richness. Moreover, the agri-tourism directory contains a smorgasbord of venues, including breweries and wineries, farms, farmers’ markets, meat processors and packing houses, orchards and specialty shops.  It is also a resource for agribusinesses in the region to market themselves and part of the “farm-to-table” movement, which promotes organic food, craft drinks and locally sourced products.


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Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute now open at McLaren Port Huron

Port Huron, Mich. – Less than one year after construction began, the new 15,000 square-foot Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute opened today, July 18, for patient care at McLaren Port Huron. The opening marks a new, sophisticated level of cancer services available to residents in St. Clair and Sanilac counties.


Twelve chemotherapy infusion bays serve cancer patients. Each private bay offers a picturesque view, heated massage lounge chairs, and a TV for patients.  In addition, treatment planning and physician consult space are available for patients and their families to meet with physicians for treatment planning, examination and follow up care. When the Karmanos Cancer Institute is fully functional by the end of 2018, there will be a total of 22 infusion bays.


“With the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Port Huron, cancer patients can receive top-notch cancer services right here at home, without the need to travel out of the area for treatments and therapies that usually require several visits per week,” says Jennifer Montgomery, president and CEO, McLaren Port Huron. “This means less stress, more convenience and a better care experience for our patients and their families, all of which promote healing.”

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