California mobility firm finds home in Ann Arbor

This feature is courtesy of Driven, the story of how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.

Hundreds of high-tech jobs in the autonomous vehicle sector are coming to Ann Arbor.

California-based KLA-Tencor Corporation recently announced its plans to establish a research and development center in Ann Arbor. The company provides process control and yield management solutions in the semiconductor and other nanotechnology industries.

Semiconductors are required for advanced, autonomous, and connected vehicles. The new R&D center is a response to growing demand.

It’s expected that the R&D center will result in a total capital investment of $71.3 million and create up to 500 high-tech jobs over the next five years. Many of those jobs are said to be highly-skilled and high-paying positions that require top talent.

As a result, the company qualifies for a Good Jobs for Michigan withholding tax capture for up to eight years and a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the state.

Ann Arbor was selected from a list of 350 potential North American sites, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Bobby Bell, chief strategy officer at KLA-Tencor, says the Ann Arbor site was selected because of southeast Michigan’s attractive talent pool, low cost of living relative to the company’s Silicon Valley home, and proximity to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Bell also cites the ability to strengthen the company’s ties with the University of Michigan as an advantage.

“Semiconductor demand from the automotive industry is experiencing rapid growth, along with a corresponding need for improved device reliability and defect control,” says Bell. “Semiconductor manufacturers serving the diverse needs of the automotive industry are turning to KLA-Tencor’s advanced process control solutions and services to help address their complex challenges.”

Visit Driven and learn how the Detroit region is leading the world in next-generation mobility.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.