One of the machines at the Jaytec facility on Platt Road in Milan | Photo courtesy of Thompson.com
By Lori Maranville
Special to the Milan News-Leader
MILAN — A steel tube manufacturer in Milan promises to bring 50 new jobs to the area if approved for $250,000 in a federally funded community development grant.
With the city’s administrative oversight and approval, Jaytec LLC, 620 S. Platt Road, will request the funds from the Michigan Strategic Fund’s Community Development Block Grant for training 50 new employees for semi-skilled positions at the plant, as the company gets set to invest $3,100,000 in new equipment.
Jaytec, a subsidiary of L & W Engineering, has owned the Platt Road business since 2011, when it replaced Bay Logistics. Jaytec and its parent company have other locations throughout southeast Michigan. Jaytec initially received tax breaks from the city for investing in the property and bringing jobs to the community.
Last month, the city approved a tax abatement for the manufacturer in exchange for Jaytec’s agreement to make additional improvements to the property, purchase and install new equipment and machinery and create 50 new jobs within two years from Dec. 31, 2014.
To be eligible for the federal grant funds, the city was first required to have community development plan on file, which city council members approved April 28, along with their approval for the block grant.
City Administrator and Police Chief Gerard Scherlinck credited Tim Lake of the Monroe County Business Development Corporation with doing much of the research and writing for the grant.
He said the community development plan is an “outline” that the city can build on in the future.
Dawn Dayton of Jaytec and Lake were on hand at the Milan City Council meeting April 28 for a public hearing on the grant request, during which no residents made comments either for or against the proposal.
As part of the requirements of the grant, 51 percent of the jobs created must first be made available to those with a low or moderate income and the new employees would be paid from $12.50 per hour to $13.28 per hour with benefits.
“People who really need the jobs will have the first opportunity to get these jobs,” Mayor Michael Armitage said, as he talked about tough economic conditions.
According to Jaytec’s application for the grant, the company has 141 current full-time or full-time equivalent employees in skilled and semi-skilled positions in management, professional, technical and clerical roles, as well as people employed as craftsmen, machine operators and laborers.
The city will be required to handle the administration of the grant funds, although Dayton assured city leaders during a council meeting in March that Jaytec would prepare much of the necessary paperwork to make it available for review by city employees.