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Firms in Ann Arbor And Detroit Expand With State Incentives

A leading provider of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nanoelectronics industries, KLA-Tencor Corporation plans to establish a new research-and-development center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

According to Michigan Economic Development, the development is expected to generate a total capital investment of more than $70 million and create 500 high-tech jobs over the next five years.

“KLA-Tencor is committed to innovation and a high level of R&D talent is a necessary element to develop the complex solutions that our customers need,” said Chief Strategic Officer Bobby Bell.

“Among the decisive reasons for building a major R&D hub in Michigan are Ann Arbor and the Detroit metropolitan area’s attractive talent pool, relative low-cost of living (compared to the San Francisco region where KLA-Tencor is headquartered), proximity to Detroit Metropolitan Airport and other logistical advantages that support KLA-Tencor’s leading international semiconductor and electronics customers,” Bell said. “These advantages enable innovation across a broad spectrum of semiconductor consumption and electronics, including data storage, cloud computing, machine learning and automotive.”

“Ann Arbor also stood out by giving us the opportunity to strengthen our partnership with the University of Michigan and its proximity to the automotive industry,” he said. “Locating in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area allows the company to draw from one of the greatest concentrations of engineering talent in the U.S.”

The investment qualifies for Good Jobs for Michigan withholding tax capture for up to eight years, and a $1.5-million Michigan Business Development Program Performance-based grant. As a condition of MSF support, KLA-Tencor will hire 500 employees over the next five years. Many of the new jobs will be highly-skilled, high-paying positions requiring top talent.

“Semiconductor demand from the automotive industry is experiencing rapid growth, along with a corresponding need for improved device reliability and defect control,” Bell said. “Customers in the automotive industry and the leading semiconductor manufacturers are turning to KLA-Tencor and our advanced process control solutions and services to help address these complex challenges.”

“KLA’s investment is a catalyst for attracting other high-tech companies and underscores the state’s growing automotive and technology R&D assets,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of MEDC, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

In addition, the board approved a $1.5-million Michigan Business Development Performance-based grant to support Coyote Logistics’ $3.6-million investment in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, near the Ambassador Bridge and Ford Motor Company’s newly acquired train station. The city of Detroit anticipates approval of a personal property tax abatement in support of the project.

“Coyote is a growing organization that sees great promise in Detroit for its location, talent in Michigan schools and support for economic resurgence from public and private organizations. We are excited to expand Coyote’s presence in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit and look forward to recruiting Michiganders to join the Coyote team,” said Coyote Chief Financial Officer Craig Gaubert.

“Today’s projects demonstrate that our efforts to expand and diversify Michigan’s business environment continue to gain momentum and bring results,” Mason said. “Companies continue to realize the invaluable assets that Michigan has to offer; high-tech engineering resources, top-notch research and design and a highly skilled workforce. Matched with low cost of living, Michigan has the ingredients that companies seek out when looking to relocation or expand their business.”

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