GM is doling out more money to update its manufacturing and development units. Next up on its list, the Warren Technical Center. Thursday, the automaker announced it will invest $1 billion in the facility to both renovate existing buildings and build new ones.
“This is an investment in our people who work at the Tech Center because it is positioning the company for long-term growth by enabling new levels of innovation and collaboration into our workplace. We will transform this campus into a collaborative workplace of choice for our current team and future talent,” says Mark Reuss, the GM product chief.
The historic center is in Warren, which is a suburb of Detroit. It opened in 1956 and became a National Historic Landmark in 2014. Currently 19,000 GM employes call it home and with around $100 million of flood damage last August and buildings still stuck in the poodle skirt era, it’s overdue for 21st century updates.
No building will be left behind as GM is literally going to do work on every area and building. The construction is expected to create 2,600 new jobs when it’s completed around 2018. It also can’t hurt that GM won municipal tax abatements in April to give it some incentive.
“This is great news for Warren, the region and our state – it soundly demonstrates GM’s commitment to Michigan and our talented workforce, providing key jobs and career opportunities for today and tomorrow,” says Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “This is why we’ve focused so hard on creating the competitive economic climate for this kind of investment in our state that will keep our comeback going strong, making Michigan the place to live, work, do business, and play.”
Construction on the 326-acre facility includes new design studios, a new multi-story IT building adjacent to the current Michigan IT Innovation Center, new parking decks for the design and IT buildings, and construction for a new testing areas at the Advanced Energy Center. Current r&d facilities will also receive rebuilding and renovating as well as extensive office upgrades to create an improved working environment.
“The need to attract high quality employees is the real need. We’re not here to be competitive, we’re here to win. So when we do this in Warren, we’re not trying to compete, we’re trying to win,” says Reuss.
The center is the central brain of GM global productions and developments. The updates will allow it to compete with modern tech hubs, like Silicon Valley, as a place for the best engineers and design talents to call home.