Navitas Systems is bringing new jobs to Scio Township

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Navitas Systems facility on Jackson Road in Scio Township.

Building upon Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Back to Work Michigan plan, Scio Township will see new investment and jobs with some help from the Michigan Strategic Fund

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced on Feb. 9 that energy storage provider Navitas Systems, with a facility located on Jackson Road, will be adding a second facility in Scio Township and creating 111 well-paying jobs.

The MEDC said in its announcement that Navitas is one of two projects that are receiving some support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. These two projects are expected to generate 266 new, well-paying jobs with a total private investment of $7.1 million in the Ann Arbor region.

“Navitas is experiencing growth in its commercial segment and plans to expand into a second facility in Scio Township, where it will house its commercial battery manufacturing, additional engineering resources and battery cell production, and office space,” said the MEDC’s announcement. “The project is expected to generate a total private investment of $3.36 million and create 111 high-paying new jobs, resulting in a $750,000 MBDP (Michigan Business Development Program) performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Illinois and Pennsylvania.”

The other area project awarded grant help is Homepoint, which is a national multi-channel mortgage loan originator and servicer. Its plans are to relocate its headquarters facility to Ann Arbor Township, investing more than $4 million and creating 50 high-paying jobs.

Excited about the announcement, Thomas Golab, the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Navitas Systems, told The Sun Times News they have seen explosive growth over the past two years in each of its core business segments-government, commercial and custom cells.

“As a result, we needed to look at expanding our manufacturing facilities to support our manufacturing needs over the next five years,” Golab said. “We plan on expanding to another facility in Scio Township, doubling our capacity as well as our development and administrative staffs as well as expanding our operations site in Pittsfield Township.”

The MEDC announcement said Navitas has a 48,000-square-foot R&D, engineering, and manufacturing center, as well as a 100,000-square-foot lithium battery systems manufacturing center in the Ann Arbor area.

Navitas designs, develops and manufactures very sophisticated and highly designed battery systems for commercial and governmental customers. Golab said their commercial products support warehouse and distribution facilities by numerous Fortune 1000 companies.

Previously, the company partnered with the MEDC in late 2013 for a small grant to redevelop and expand its facilities in Pittsfield Township, which resulted in the addition of 63 new jobs.

In 2013, the MEDC said Navitas was awarded a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program grant for the creation of 125 new jobs and a $9.2 million investment at its facility in Pittsfield Charter Township.

The company has since exceeded the job requirement and closed out the MBDP successfully, the MEDC said.

“Our workforce is highly educated and skilled with wages substantially higher than the median in the area,” Golab said.

The new plan in Scio is to create 111 new jobs in engineering, assembly and support staff. The current staffing at the Scio location is approximately 75. They have already met the first milestone of new hires in spite of the impact of COVID shutdowns and economic slowdowns during this year, Golab said.

“Our team has worked very hard to get our operations up and running to support our customers, most of whom are Fortune 1000 companies,” he said.

Work at the Scio location, includes design, development and assembly of their commercial motive power battery systems and expansion of their cell operations in Pittsfield Township. The workforce includes design engineers, manufacturing and assembly staff, warehousing operations and related support staff.

“Today’s announcement is building on the Michigan Back to Work plan, announced during my State of the State Address to grow our economy and get Michiganders back on their feet,” said Governor Whitmer in the MEDC announcement. “These business expansions in Ann Arbor demonstrate our continued commitment to ongoing economic recovery by securing diverse projects that will grow long-term economic health and opportunity for our workforce across the state.”

Announced on Jan. 27, the MEDC said the Michigan Back to Work plan is intended to protect, grow, and create good-paying jobs.

“Over the next year, the Whitmer Administration will announce initiatives and projects big and small – from tech, mobility and manufacturing growth, to clean energy and road construction – all resulting in good jobs for Michigan residents,” the MEDC announcement said.

“We appreciate the opportunity to continue our development path in the state of Michigan. The job incentive grant is an important part of our justification for making the additional investments in Ann Arbor as compared to other sites,” said Alan Elshafei, founder and CEO of Navitas Systems. “MEDC has been a strategic partner for Navitas since 2013 and we appreciate the confidence MEDC has placed in our company as well as the resources to help turn our plans into new jobs and opportunities.”

Golab agreed and said, “We are excited to be expanding our operations in Ann Arbor and look forward to being a leading employer in the area for years to come.”

Looking ahead at the timeline of the expansion, Golab said the site has been acquired and outfitted, and staffing continues to expand as their order book continues to grow.

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