Michigan governor Rick Snyder joined Robert Bosch president Mike Mansuetti and other Bosch executives in a ceremonial ground-breaking to publicly announce a 220,500sq ft expansion of Bosch's Technical Centre located at 15000 Haggerty Road in Plymouth Township.
"Bosch's commitment to expand its presence in Michigan, while also enhancing its research and development work shows that Michigan truly is a great place to do business," Snyder said. "Michigan's business climate has improved dramatically, making our state a prime location for global companies like Bosch to expand and invest. It is also exciting that Bosch is an advocate for preparing tomorrow's workforce through hands-on tech training. Together Bosch and Michigan are tapping into our talent potential and building a bright future."
Expansion will nearly double the size of the technical centre
The expansion, which is expected to be completed in November 2015, will nearly double the size of the existing technical centre, which opened in 2007.
When complete, the total site, which is located on 75 acres, will have more than 445,000sq ft and capacity for 1,400 people. The expansion will further enable the growth of several key technologies, including automotive electronics, start/stop motors, electrical drives, and a variety of safety and driver assistance systems that will further advance automated driving. In addition, the new site will provide Bosch with the needed laboratory and office space to co-locate certain associates in southeast Michigan, some of whom currently work in different leased facilities, thereby fostering more innovation and greater collaboration.
Mansuetti told the group of government officials, community leaders and Bosch associates assembled at the ceremony:
"For a company whose heritage - and future - is based on innovation, breaking ground to begin the expansion of this technical centre at a time when this market offers so much potential to grow is truly exciting. Our founder, Robert Bosch, believed that education and sustainability were both essential for the success not only of his business, but of society. We are here today, continuing that philosophy and living our company imperative of 'Invented for life'."
Growing Bosch's footprint in Michigan
Currently, the Plymouth Technical Centre houses 850 people. In Michigan, Bosch has approximately 3,200 associates in 15 cities, including Farmington Hills, which is the headquarters for Robert Bosch; Plymouth Township; Ann Arbor; Bridgeport; Buchanan; Canton; Flat Rock; Kalamazoo; Kentwood; Orion; Novi; Rochester Hills; St. Joseph; and Warren.
With this expansion and the co-location of certain groups, Bosch expects to add up to 200 new jobs in Michigan in the next three years, Mansuetti said.
During the ground-breaking ceremony, Mansuetti thanked community and government leaders:
"Bosch is proud to offer good-paying high-tech jobs. Essential to attracting and retaining the best associates is also having thriving communities in which they can work, live and play. Plymouth Township offers this kind of environment."
"It has long been our hope to expand the technical centre here. Thanks to the Plymouth Township board of trustees and planning commission, along with county and state agencies, we were able to begin building the first part of the site in 2005. As business increased, so, too, did our need to expand the technical centre."
"As we built the business case for further expansion, the township allowed Bosch to construct a temporary building on site for about 160 associates, thereby enabling Bosch to keep these jobs in Plymouth Township. With additional business growth on the horizon and a strong, vibrant community in which to work, we are now able to permanently expand the Technical Centre and begin co-locating associates to foster more innovation and even greater collaboration."
Bosch gives back to community
As a way to give back to the community, the Bosch Community Fund has pledged a contribution of US$10,000 to the Friends of the Rouge (FOTR), to assist with projects in the Plymouth community. Bosch has worked in support of the FOTR for several years, with associates volunteering with the FOTR in its restoration projects.
As the footprint in Plymouth Township has grown, Bosch has also increased its philanthropic activity here. Since the Bosch Community Fund was established in 2011, it has contributed $360,000 to various community organisations in the Township and more than $439,000 nationwide to FIRST Robotics, including $70,000 to the FIRST Plymouth Canton Schools Team 862 Lightning Robotics.
FIRST, which stands for: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, designs innovative programmes that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.
Schoolcraft College supports Bosch-sponsored FIRST teams
Mansuetti also announced a recently established partnership with Schoolcraft College. The College, which has a respected manufacturing and technology curriculum, will work with two Bosch-sponsored FIRST Robotics teams in Schoolcraft College's labs during the 2015 season. This collaboration will benefit the students who will work with - and be mentored by - professionals from both Bosch and Schoolcraft College. STEM is a key priority for Bosch, as statistics show that the supply of technical talent in STEM-related fields will not meet demand in the years ahead.
Expansion also serves as a sustainability technology showcase
The expanded site will produce green technology as well as showcase it.
The site will include several energy-efficient technologies, including high-efficiency lighting, including LED and induction lighting; photovoltaic solar array; a battery backup system, and high-volume, low-speed fans, and a Direct Current (DC) Microgrid.