WACKER Hosts Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer At Silicones R&D Center
Ann Arbor, MI, USA, Jul 18, 2019
Wacker Chemical Corporation (WCC) today welcomed Governor Gretchen Whitmer to WACKER's Americas Region Silicones R&D Center located in Ann Arbor, MI, where she met with David Wilhoit, WCC President & CEO. They discussed a range of subjects, such as the State of Michigan's vision to attract new business, create jobs, repair infrastructure and position Michigan as a high-tech industry and manufacturing hub.
Additionally, they reviewed WACKER's global growth plans, specifically as it relates to Michigan and the Ann Arbor area. The governor's visit included a guided tour of the Silicones R&D Center and a close-up view of WACKER's industry-leading 3D printing ACEO technology. WACKER pioneered this novel technology, offering the first worldwide service for 3D printed silicone elastomer parts.
"Companies like WACKER are doing crucial work to make Michigan a world leader in innovation," said Gov. Whitmer. "I'm excited to partner with them to ensure our businesses can succeed and attract more to our state by making Michigan a home for opportunity again. That means passing a budget that raises the revenue we need to fix the roads, boosts public education, closes the skills gap, and cleans up our drinking water. That's how we build strong communities, grow our economy, and ensure every business can thrive here in Michigan."
"WACKER and I deeply appreciate Governor Whitmer's commitment and partnership with the business community to build Michigan into a globally and nationally-recognized leader in high-technology innovation," said President & CEO David Wilhoit. "Developing the talent we already have and attracting additional highly-educated people, ensures our continued competitiveness in a global economy. We fully support the Governor's efforts to improve our infrastructure and elevate Michigan's technical expertise so companies like WACKER can compete worldwide," added Wilhoit.
Wilhoit explained that demand for silicones will continue to grow across all segments, with particular growth coming from the automotive, health care and personal care markets. As WACKER grows and expands in Michigan, the company is actively engaging the regional academic community through student programs such as the University of Michigan's local chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) and the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS). WACKER also has a very robust annual internship program with 27 student interns working across its Michigan sites for the summer.
WACKER remains committed to Michigan with manufacturing process and operations investments continuing in Adrian, a newly opened Silicones R&D Center in Ann Arbor, and plans are in place to relocate its regional headquarters and technical center from Adrian to a new Innovation Center and Americas Region Headquarters in the Ann Arbor area in the next couple of years.