General Motors Corp. late last month announced its selection of Orion Township for an assembly plant to build its future small-car model —  one bit of good news for local and Michigan state officials grappling with dwindling revenues and high unemployment made worse by the struggling auto industry.

Local and state authorities offered a package of $1 billion in tax incentives and training support to sway GM, which is emerging from bankruptcy, to pick the site over several others in Wisconsin and Tennessee. GM will invest $700 million in the facilities and about 1,400 jobs will be restored —  1,200 at the plant and 200 at a stamping plant in Pontiac —  as a result of the decision.

“From day one, we said Michigan would aggressively fight for these jobs,” Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. “The competition was intense, but at the end of the day, it was the collective strength of our amazing workforce, innovative and creative economic development tools, and excellent local community and [United Auto Workers] collaboration that sealed the deal for Michigan.’

”The selection of Orion and Pontiac required a strong team effort between the state of Michigan, Oakland County, Orion Township, Pontiac and the UAW,” said Gary Cowger, group vice president of GM global manufacturing and labor relations. “We appreciate the tremendous support we received from the state and local officials involved in the development and submission of the creative incentives proposal that was offered to GM for this project.”

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