Positive Jackson job news

It’s easy to get doomy and gloomy in regards to the local job market, but a few news items have popped up that are worth mentioning.

One, MacSteel is back to full employment power, says the Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Just days before Christmas 2008, 300 workers at Gerdau MacSteel were told they were being laid off indefinitely. Some held little hope the company would survive.

Then last September, the mill slowly began calling people back to work. But as of today, everyone is back on the job.

The company, which opened in 1974 and employed 380 at the time of the layoffs, saw its steelmaking and rolling sections idled as the recession set in and automotive sales dropped.

And today we learned that Tenneco added 185 jobs:

The Illinois-based company, which manufacturers automotive emission and ride control products around the world, will invest a total of $15.6 million by the end of 2011 in Michigan as it expands to make components for gas and diesel pickups, SUVs and crossover vehicles at four of its plants.

The tax credit is worth $1.8 million over seven years, and the state says it will lead to the creation of up to 185 jobs at its sites in Litchfield, Marshall, Monroe and Grass Lake. In order to receive the full amount of the credit, Tenneco has to create the 185 jobs by next year and maintain them through 2017.

Michigan’s unemployment has stuck at 14.1% as of March, still the highest in the nation, though layoffs haven’t been as heavy as they were in 2009.

“The biggest state job losses in the past 12 months have been 28,000 jobs in manufacturing; 22,000 in trade, transportation and utilities; and 16,000 in construction,” the CitPat reports.

So there. Jackson manufacturing companies adding jobs, which means more opportunities for our members who work there.

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