Two expansions to bring 800-plus jobs to Metro Detroit

Breana Noble
The Detroit News
An employment application form.

The state of Michigan's economic development arm approved grants to create more than 800 jobs in Southeast Michigan.

The Michigan Strategic Fund board, the governing arm of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., approved more than $7 million in grants for the projects that could represent more than nearly $19 million in capital investments.

Royal Oak-based RPM Freight Systems LLC said Tuesday it will invest $4.9 million into expanding Michigan operations to create 500 new jobs over five years. The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a $3.75 million grant for the logistic company's expansion plans.

Total compensation packages are projected to be valued at $100,000 per employee. With plans to reach $1 billion in annual revenue by 2025, RPM is seeking to lease additional space in its current building at 301 W. Fourth St. but will need a larger building to add 500 workers.

RPM currently employs 150 people at its 15,000-square-foot headquarters. Royal Oak beat out Nashville, Tennessee, for the expansion.

Additionally, the Michigan Strategic Fund's board approved a $3.34 million grant for U.S. Roof LLC, a subsidiary of Troy-based automotive supplier Inteva Products LLC that makes sunroofs. To increase local supply for larger roof panels and systems, the company is looking to lease space in Oakland or Wayne counties. The facility is expected to be a $13.9 million investment and create 334 new jobs.

U.S. Roof is looking for a 70,000- to 100,000-square-foot facility with space for offices, a tech center with lab space, production and warehousing. The company chose Michigan over the Overland Industrial Park in Toledo, the former site of the Toledo Jeep manufacturing plant.

The strategic fund board also approved allocating $250,000 for one year for the creation of an advanced computing innovation hub at Wayne State University. The Detroit university has managed a similar hub for bio-medicine, which has garnered $5.7 million in funding for 13 projects.

In an effort to promote early-stage technology companies, the board approved $600,000 in grants to five incubator services, as well. Tory's Automation Alley and Techtown Detroit each received $100,000 to hire to better service entrepreneurs in their technology business accelerator SmartZones.

Ann Arbor SPARK and the Enterprise Group of Jackson Inc. also each received $150,000 and the City of Grand Rapids SmartZone LDFA received for $100,000 for similar hires.