General Motors will invest $1 billion in its Warren Technical Center in Warren, Mich., and add about 2,600 jobs over the next four years.
“This is an investment in our people who work at the Tech Center because it is positioning the company for long-term growth by enabling new levels of innovation and collaboration,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president for global product development. “We will transform this campus into a collaborative workplace of choice for our current team and future talent.”
The Warren City Council last month approved tax abatements that will enable GM to earn a return more quickly on its upgrade of the 710-acre campus where the bulk of its engineering, advanced technology and safety research is focused.
The new jobs will be spread among vehicle engineering, information technology and design. Some will be jobs that previously were located elsewhere, but there will be a net increase from the current Tech Center workforce of 19,000.
This is in addition to the $5.4 billion GM is investing across its 40 U.S. manufacturing plants that CEO Mary Barra outlined about two weeks ago.
The Tech Center project will include new design studios, parking deck for design staff and renovation of existing research and development offices. Reuss also said at least one older structure that is no longer used for very much work likely will be razed.
There also will be a new multistory IT building adjacent to the current Michigan IT Innovation Center and a new parking deck for IT employees.
“This reflects what we need on this campus over the next 15 to 20 years to create a vision of how we design transportation for the world,” Reuss said.
Reuss cautioned that employees will need to be patient. Many of them will need to move to temporary offices while their home building goes through renovation.
It’s a big stimulus for the city of Warren, where GM estimates it could add 1,500 jobs to the current 19,000 GM employees who work at the site.
The tech center sustained $132 million of flood damage from last August’s heavy rains and a significant portion of the new investment will go to restore labs, offices and underground tunnels that incurred much of the flood damage.
“Design was particularly hit hard,” Reuss said. “There’s an innovative tunnel system connecting most of these buildings and those were hit hard. Things like boiler systems that were literally from the 1950’s and they need to be updated.”
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