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Whitmer Joins Wacker Chemical Corporation Grand Opening
Michigan Ag Connection - 05/12/2022

During Economic Development Week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined state and local leaders as well as business leaders for a ribbon cutting and tour of the Wacker Chemical Corporation (WACKER) Innovation Center and Regional Headquarters in Ann Arbor.

"The Innovation Center will be WACKER's new North American headquarters for a diverse and broad workforce and be a workspace for 300 Michiganders operating on the cutting edge of manufacturing and high-tech innovation," said Whitmer. "This facility is a talent magnet, showing other firms that Michigan is the obvious answer when deciding where to expand or move their business. Our position as a global epicenter for high-tech manufacturing and innovation is clearer than it has ever been thanks to companies like Wacker. Let's keep working together to grow the economy, create good-paying jobs, and conduct groundbreaking research that will define the future--right here in Michigan."

The $50-million-plus investment allows chemists, scientists, and senior leadership, who had previously worked out of three separate Michigan locations, to collaborate in a single space and provides room for expansion and growth. The Innovation Center includes world-class labs; a full-service cafeteria; a 24/7 fitness center; and open collaborative workspaces.

The campus covers 18 acres and serves as the hub of leadership and innovation for WACKER's North and Central Americas (NCA) region. The state-of-the-art center currently houses more than 250 team members, including the company's NCA senior leadership team; the region's leading chemists; IT and other technical experts, along with support functions.

"We are pleased to formally open this world-class Innovation Center today to our valued partners," said WACKER President & CEO David Wilhoit. "The site will serve as an important anchor for our growing operations across North and Central America. This area is home to dozens of research facilities and educational institutions, making it one of the leading communities in Michigan and the entire nation for R&D, enabling the company to network with, and recruit from among, the best high-tech talent in the nation."

This is WACKER's second expansion in Michigan in recent years. In 2017, the company established a Silicones R&D Center in Ann Arbor. The new headquarters project created 70 new jobs and generated more than $50 million in private investment, resulting in vital support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. Michigan was chosen for the company's North American Innovation Center & Regional Headquarters over competing sites in Tennessee and Ohio.

"Michigan is, and has always been, a home for innovators of all kinds to experiment, discover and deploy new technologies and solutions that change the future -- and today is no different," said Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) CEO Quentin L. Messer Jr. "We're thrilled to welcome this additional investment from WACKER as the company makes clear that Michigan's highly skilled workforce and strong advanced manufacturing ecosystem provide a winning combination for it's continued growth into the next generation and beyond."


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