Building on the foundation of a strong manufacturing base, the Great Lakes Bay Region welcomed the announcement and dedication of the new Dow Michigan Operations Industrial Park (I-Park) on September 20.
Several government officials, community and company leaders gathered with a diverse group of employees at Midland Center for the Arts to discuss the transformation of Michigan Operations – which originally housed both Dow and Dow Corning’s historical manufacturing assets – to a multi-company industrial park of six companies. Broadly the I-Park will focus on innovation and collaboration and offers plenty of room to grow, as manufacturing expands in the region.
At 2,600 acres, the site is administered by Dow and includes five additional companies: DuPont and Corteva Agriscience once the spin of DowDuPont is complete in 2019, as well as Cabot Corporation, SK Saran Americas and Trinseo.
The crowd heard enthusiastic remarks from Jim Fettering, CEO of Dow, Midland Mayor Maureen Donker, and Reiner Roghmann, Dow’s vice president of Operations for Canada & USA North. In addition, all six site leaders from each of the tenant companies were recognized at the milestone event.
The I-Park site will build upon the 2017 development plan to reroute a segment of South Saginaw Road and conjoin the facilities operated by Dow on the west side of the road with those previously operated by Dow Corning (before the ownership restructuring) on the east side. Several other enhancements are well underway, including a new visitor entrance at the site inspired by Midland’s own Alden B. Dow, facility improvements on site and other public roadway enhancements. A majority of this work is expected to be complete by December 2018.
The current and future I-Park tenants will be able to leverage best-in-class manufacturing practices, safety and environmental standards and benefit from the integrated of services. The six companies will benefit from reliable, cost-advantaged utilities, logistics infrastructure, emergency and security services and best-in-class waste management – all adding to their competitiveness globally and locally.
“The Dow Michigan Operations Industrial Park will further strengthen the manufacturing expertise in the region while enhancing safety and operational efficiency,” said Roghmann. “The site is positioned for growth and is a key driver in our ability to attract and retain talent as the I-Park transforms.”
The dedication comes just in time to underscore and recognize the growth and development of the Great Lakes Bay Region. In late September, Midland was recognized for experiencing the second strongest per capita economic growth in the nation. The seventh annual report soon to be released by the McNair Center at Northwood University ranks Midland as number two for real GDP growth per capita spanning 2011-2017.