Suniva to move forward with Mid-Michigan plans - WNEM TV 5

Suniva to move forward with Mid-Michigan plans

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A major solar company is bringing hundreds of jobs to Mid-Michigan, but some are saying they'll believe it when they see it.

Suniva, a Georgia-based solar manufacturer, just announced plans to build a factory in Saginaw Township.

They made a similar announcement five years ago, promising to create 500 new jobs and that never happened.

"To be able to compete with four other states and win a project is fantastic," said Joann Crary, Saginaw Future president.

Crary said Suniva's new investment in Saginaw Township is great news for the local economy.

"Tremendous news. When was the last time you heard of a company bringing 350 jobs to this area," she said.

Five years ago the company announced plans to bring 500 jobs to Saginaw County's Thomas Township. Developers even built the Great Lakes Solar Technology Park in part expecting that Suniva would move in, but that never materialized and now the 240-acre tech park remains empty.

"It ended up being a situation with market conditions," said Matt Card, Suniva spokesperson.

He said market conditions are to blame for why the company never followed through with their plans for Thomas Township.

"In the last 18 to 24 months the U.S. market picked up significantly, and expansion made sense for us so we re-initiated our investigation for spaces and Michigan remained at the top of our list," Card said.

Crary said the company won't invest in the vacant tech park because the company was looking for a space that already had a building they could move into.

"The company has equipment already on hand and they needed to get it in a building that already existed because they have demand on the product so they needed to get it up and running," Crary said.

Card said it's very unlikely plans will fall through a second time.

"We're starting construction almost immediately, so that chance is about 1 percent. We're moving full steam ahead," Card said.

Suniva said it plans to start hiring in about a month. They'll post the openings on their website.

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