Dakkota to build $55 million facility to supply new Detroit FCA plant

DETROIT - Mayor Duggan and industry leaders announced Tuesday the first "major supplier" for the new FCA assembly plant that's under construction on the city's east side.

Dakkota Integrated Systems has been named the supplier. The company is planning to build a $55 million manufacturing facility to supply parts to FCA. Duggan's office said Dakkota also plans to create 625 jobs at the new 600,000-square-foot plant at the site of the vacant Kettering and Rose schools on Detroit’s east side.

"We applaud Dakkota’s commitment to invest in a new manufacturing facility on Detroit’s east side and to join FCA in putting Detroiters first," reads a statement from FCA. "While this new facility will bring even more new jobs to the area and strengthen our manufacturing footprint, we also believe that investments like this one will help build a more vibrant community and provide stability for the future. We encourage others to take notice and join us in investing in Detroit."

According to Duggan's office, Dakkota has committed to the same priority hiring practices for Detroiters as FCA.

“As soon as we finished the FCA deal, we immediately got to work to bring suppliers to the area. Today, we’re announcing one of the first -- thanks to Andra Rush and Dakkota, which will bring hundreds more jobs to the east side,” said Duggan. “Even better, Dakkota has agreed to give Detroiters first shot at these jobs, and residents can sign up to prepare for these jobs today through Detroit at Work.”

How Detroiters can get on supplier hiring list

According to the mayor's office, when Dakkota opens its application process it will interview first from a list of Detroiters who have registered through Detroit at Work, before engaging the public. For applicants to get on the priority list, they must live in the city of Detroit, meet Dakkota’s job criteria and attend a Detroit at Work Job Readiness Event.

Detroit residents can pre-register now at http://www.detroitatwork.com/dakkota to attend a Job Readiness Event.

Job Readiness Events are being held across the city this summer to ensure Detroit residents meet the minimum qualifications to be hired at the new Dakkota facility and other supplier plants.  Detroiters who are unable to meet all requirements at the time of application will be offered assistance through Detroit at Work to help them become eligible when the early application window opens for Detroiters.

Resources and support are available at three Detroit at Work Career Centers:

  • Samaritan Center, 5555 Conner
  • SER Metro, 9301 Michigan Avenue
  • Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers

Dakkota buying DPSCD vacant schools, Kettering 'K' preserved

Duggan's office said Dakkota will purchase about 32 acres of land located on the city’s east side from Detroit Public Schools Community District for $2.6 million. The parcel, former home of Kettering and Rose schools, will be cleared to make way for the new 600,000 square-foot manufacturing facility. Kettering High School has been vacant since 2012. Rose Elementary School closed in 2006.

To honor the history of the schools, Dakkota plans to preserve the giant blue Kettering “K” on its site and move existing park equipment to a new location.

Proposal to seek zoning changes, city council approval

Meanwhile, the mayor said the project will seek endorsements later this fall, including a zoning change request and City Council approval. The site will need to be rezoned from a residential to manufacturing classification, which will go before the City’s Board of Zoning Appeals and the City Planning Commission. The project’s incentives require City Council approval. The administration also is expected to request Council and Michigan Strategic Fund approval on a 10-year Detroit Next Michigan Development Corporation Renaissance Zone abatement on real property, corporate income taxes and utility user taxes, similar to what the city provided to Flex-N-Gate.

The city and Dakkota also will lead a community engagement process to communicate the impact of the project on surrounding neighborhoods and work with residents to address community concerns.
Construction is expected to begin within 60 days of the closing. The plant is slated to begin operating assembly lines in late 2020.

“This is the first of what we expect to be several new industrial facilities created by FCA’s presence in Detroit,” said Kevin Johnson, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation President and CEO. “We are building a vertical supply chain in Detroit that can satisfy any automotive demand and extending Detroit’s global leadership in the auto and mobility sectors.”

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