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DETROIT-Gentex Corp. is expanding its manufacturing operations in the Zeeland area, securing up to 1,499 jobs for Michigan workers, company officials claim. A global manufacturer of automotive and fire protection products, Gentex plans to invest up to $97 million over the next five years in the purchase of manufacturing equipment, land and construction of a new, 225,000-sf facility.

The facility will allow Gentex to expand its operations for the manufacture of automatic-dimming mirror systems for the automotive industry. “This significant expansion in Michigan will extend Gentex’s growth potential and bring new employment opportunities to hundreds of families,” says Gov. John Engler.

Gentex had weighed whether to expand in the Zeeland area or in a Georgia location closer to many of the company’s southern customers. The state awarded Gentex a Single Business Tax credit worth up to $9.2 million over a 20-year period and Economic Development Job Training grants worth up to $625,000 to encourage the company’s decision to grow in Michigan.

The state will also provide the local community with a Community Development Block Grant worth between $1.1 million and $1.3 million, depending on the final site location. The grant will be used for site preparation and/or other infrastructure improvements needed to support the new facility.

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