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Hilite International Expands Whitehall, Michigan Production Plant

10/16/2020
Hilite International, a global provider of components and systems for the automotive industry, is expanding its operations in Whitehall, Michigan. The project will receive support from the Michigan Strategic Fund according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Hilite is consolidating operations and plans to update its Whitehall operations, including renovation and reconfiguration of the facility to accommodate new office spaces, labs and conference rooms. The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $9.6 million and create 108 new jobs by 2022.

To secure the expansion in Michigan, Hilite has been awarded a $400,000 Jobs Ready Michigan performance-based grant. The project aligns with MEDC’s strategic focus of supporting and growing businesses in the automotive industry and securing the state’s leadership in engineering, design and development. The company also provides an intensive training and development program called Hilite University that allows employees to earn credit hours toward their goals. A majority of the jobs created as a result of this project will be entry-level positions, bringing new opportunities to area residents and offering a path to higher-wage jobs.

In addition to MSF support, the city of Whitehall will sell the company an adjacent 19.3-acre parcel of land necessary to accommodate the expansion for $1 and is supportive of a P.A. 198 property tax abatement. Consumers Energy is supporting the project with in-kind staff assistance valued at $40,000.

“Hilite International would like to express its gratitude to the City of Whitehall for their past and present support of our organization,” said Hilite Senior Director of North American Finance and Controlling Chad Whitton. “We would also like to recognize and express our gratitude for Consumers Energy’s, Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s and Muskegon Area First’s partnership and support of this project.”

“Hilite’s expansion in Whitehall strengthens the company’s presence in West Michigan and brings good jobs for area residents,” said MEDC Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President Josh Hundt. “This is another signal that economic recovery efforts are having an impact and we look forward to working with the company as it continues to grow in Michigan.”

“The city and the local Development Finance Authority are excited about the facility expansion planned by HiLite International and honored that they chose Whitehall. Their significant investment and substantial creation of jobs as we re-engage Michigan’s economy is a very welcomed relief to the economic crisis brought on during what will certainly be one of the most challenging years most of us will experience,” said Whitehall Mayor Debi Hillebrand. “Whitehall is proud to have offered assistance in the selection process to further strengthen our relationship with HiLite which began over 30 years ago as the City’s first industrial park resident.”

Hilite International is a global supplier focused on the development and production of components and systems aimed at reducing fuel consumption and exhaust gases, and on future technologies such as e-mobility and thermal management. Hilite is a leading company in the field of variable valve timing and transmission valves. The company has been operating at its Whitehall facility since 1989 and its customers include FCA, GM, Daimler and Allison.

“Muskegon Area First is pleased that Hilite International continues to expand in Muskegon County,” said Muskegon Area First CEO Jim Edmonson. “It is a pleasure to work with company leadership and the city of Whitehall as they build a great community partnership.”

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