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GM project keeps 1,600 Michigan jobs

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DETROIT — The state of Michigan has offered General Motors Corp. tax credits in a bid to convince the automaker to go ahead with a $385 million project to build a new engine and transmission lab and testing center in Pontiac.

The state said the project, another step in GM’s six-year effort to consolidate its southeastern Michigan operations, would help retain some 1,600 high-paying General Motors jobs in the region.

The automaker has considered other North American sites and is expected to make a final decision on the project this summer. Company officials welcomed the state’s gesture.

“GM appreciates the support and approval of the state on this tax credit to make this project most viable,” said William Whitley, executive director of engineering operations and laboratories for GM Powertrain.

The state offered a brownfield redevelopment tax credit, worth up to $25 million, to convince GM to keep the project in Michigan.

The credit would help GM offset the costs of redeveloping a site with groundwater and soil contamination.

The project would include construction of a 431,000-square-foot engineering building for powertrain testing labs and equipment in Pontiac, adjacent to the automaker’s new Pontiac North campus. It was established as part of GM’s $2 billion 1998 plan to consolidate 37,500 workers in five “campuses” in southeast Michigan.

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