Challenge Manufacturing purchases old GM facility

Challenge Manufacturing Co. will take over the former General Motors plant in Pontiac, Michigan, according to The Detroit News. Challenge Manufacturing is an automotive supplier with more than 2,000 employees in the U.S. It has four facilities in west Michigan and will invest approximately $50 million to upgrade the 400,000-square-foot plant for vehicle component manufacturing and assembly.

The GM plant closed in 2009 and was one of many economic setbacks for the city of Pontiac, which affected thousands of Michigan residents, The Detroit News reported. Work on the facility will begin this summer, and when it's operational, the new plant is expected to create 450 new jobs.

Challenge Manufacturing received tax incentives from the Michigan Strategic Fund in May. The fund's board approved a $2.5 million grant for the company and it will also consider a tax reimbursement valued at $2.2 million for the project as well as funds to aid the company in hiring employees.

The company has also been offered incremental tax reimbursement from the city of Pontiac at a value of $5 million over 16 years.

In addition to the new facility, Challenge Manufacturing plans to increase its operations in Holland, Michigan, and Walker, Michigan, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. These expansions represent an investment of $10.3 million by the company and will add 180 new jobs between the two plants.

These expansions have been offered a $1 million grant from the MEDC as well as property tax abatements from each city.

Businesses that supply the automotive industry should work with manufacturing recruiters to help them as they expand their operations. Companies should leave the challenge of finding qualified employees to their recruiters as they focus on the details associated with locating new and upgrading old facilities.