GTI Snags Magna Assembly Jobs

Grand Traverse Industries (GTI) in Traverse City has seen an uptick in new auto assembly work, thanks to Magna Interior Trim Components (MITC), a rapidly-growing plant in Benzonia and subsidiary of global automotive supplier Magna International Inc.

“Magna just contracted with us for two different parts assembly jobs,” said Steve Perdue, CEO/president of GTI. “They found us on the web, which is really cool.”

The agreement created 12 jobs for current GTI employees. The Traverse City-based company employs approximately 220 people with significant disabilities and 70-75 staff across seven counties.

“GTI currently assembles two parts for Magna,” said GTI Director of Industrial Operations Mike Moore. “We install plastic clips onto a plastic substrate and we also insert rubber bumpers into a plastic substrate.”

While there’s not a formal contract in place, the company has a purchase order dated out two years.

In 2010, MITC acquired Continental Plastics Co., an automotive interior components parts supplier with locations in both Benzonia and China (St. Clair County) townships.

Last January, MITC received an $822,000 Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP) performance-based grant for expansions at both locations that was expected to generate $3.6 million and create 274 jobs.

MITC went on to create all of those positions and experienced additional growth, which will require the hiring of an additional 169 employees. As a result, the company’s MBDP grant has been increased by $507,000, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Based in Aurora, Ontario, Magna International is the largest automotive supplier in North America and the third worldwide, with 128,000 employees in 315 manufacturing facilities.

In August, the company posted record sales of $9.46 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, an increase of 6 percent over the second quarter of 2013.