Carhartt chooses Dearborn expansion over Kentucky, Mexico

Dearborn-based apparel firm Carhartt plans to hire up to 125 more workers in Dearborn with an average $43 hourly wage, rather than in Kentucky or Mexico, with help from a recently approved state grant.

Govt. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that Carhartt has been approved for a $937,500 performance-based grant from the Michigan Business Development Program to assist with an anticipated $4.65 million capital investment at its Dearborn campus, which is expected to result in the new hiring.

The grant was approved last week by the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Carhartt had told economic development officials that, absent the nearly $1 million in grant assistance, he may have hired those new positions not in Dearborn but rather at its IT service center offices in Mexico or distribution center in Hanson, Kentucky, or Supply Chain Administration office in Irvine, Kentucky. The firm also considered making the new positions fully remote.

Carhartt must create all 125 jobs to get the full grant

“A new facility in Mexico and two Kentucky facilities are alternative locations for this project due to thehigher cost of recruiting and maintaining talent and the higher cost of doing business in Michigan comparedto those locations,” according to a Michigan Economic Development Corp. briefing memo.

The ultimate size of the state grant will depend on the total number of new jobs Carhartt creates over a three-year period. The firm must create all 125 jobs to get the full $937,500.

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