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Automotive group to invest $31M at site of former Detroit high school

Vacant Southwestern High School to become center of Sakthi 650-employee manufacturing jobs, training programs

DETROIT – Sakthi Automotive Group will invest $31 million into the site of Detroit's former Southwestern High School to expand their manufacturing and job training operations.

The roughly 70-acre Sakthi Manufacturing Campus will have an estimated 1.2 million square feet of space across four facilities.

Sakthi leaders made the announcement Monday with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Gov. Rick Snyder.

"This project is a prime example of how cooperation between the state, the city, Detroit Public Schools and the private sector can help create jobs and preserve our city's heritage," said Duggan. "Sakthi is making a major commitment to Detroit and is creating employment opportunities for our residents that otherwise would have remained overseas."    

Sakthi will manufacture light-weight aluminum castings at the site, which is on W. Fort Street near Post Street.

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--Gov. Rick Snyder holds up an example of a steering component

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Jobs part of the investment plan

  • The redevelopment of Southwestern High School and its campus will create an estimated 220 new jobs by 2021. 
  • Sakthi will maintain its current 170 jobs at its facility (formerly Arvin Meritor) on Fort Street at Waterman. The manufacturing expansion already underway to the west on American Way Street is currently adding 150 new jobs.  
  • Seventy of those jobs will be contained inside the historic portion of the school, which will be used for offices, training and warehousing. The other 150 jobs will be spread across a newly-constructed 100,000-square-foot lightweight metal advanced casting facility and a 10,000-square-foot benchmarking/testing facility that will be housed in the school gymnasium. As part of its renovation, Sakthi plans to incorporate much of the gymnasium floor, where NBA stars Jalen Rose, Howard Eisley and Voshon Lenard once played, and other elements into its design.
  • The former GM building to the east of the Sakthi headquarters will be put to use as an advanced distribution/manufacturing center, creating 100 new jobs.

For information on how to apply for jobs as part of the Sakthi expansion, applicants can email humanresources@sakthiautousa.com.