Change Opens a New Chapter in Dow’s Storied History
By Rich Adams
There is definite strength in numbers. The Dow Michigan Operations I-Park is home to six industry powerhouses occupying the 2,600-acre site in Midland.
The parent company DowDuPont, split into three independent companies, Dow, DuPont, and Corteva Agriscience, all of which will continue operations at the Dow Michigan Operations I-Park as separate organizations.
In addition, SK Saran Americas, Trinseo, and Cabot Corp. already operate on the site and will continue to do so. The presence of the six dynamic leaders in industry development and production is intended to be the anchor that will draw other significant companies – and jobs – to the industrial park.
To find out how the development will impact Midland and the surrounding communities, representatives of each company were asked how the Michigan Operations Industrial Park would position the region for growth and innovation.
Dow’s impact on the region since it was founded in 1897, is derived through a strong community partnership as an active participant in Midland and across the Great Lakes Bay region.
The company will continue to lend time, talents and people to community organizations that make the region a great place to live and work.
Dow’s portfolio of performance materials, industrial intermediates and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of science-based products and solutions for customers in high-growth segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care.
Dow has six sites in Michigan, including its corporate headquarters in Midland. Approximately 5,300 of Dow’s 37,000 global employees are in Michigan.
Reiner Roghmann, Vice President U.S. North & Canada, Site Director Michigan Operations
What’s new about the “new” Dow?
Dow has 6 sites across the state including its global corporate headquarters in Midland. Approximately 5,300 of the company’s 37,000 global employees live and work in Michigan. In the Great Lakes Bay Region, Dow maintains a significant manufacturing presence in the Michigan Operations Site through its Performance Silicone business, including a silicones products manufacturing site in Auburn.
Dow is a strong community partner and active participant in Midland and across the Great Lakes Bay Region. We will continue to lend our time, talents and people to community organizations that make the GLBR a great place to live and work.
Tim Lacey, general manager & vice president of Performance Building Solutions, DuPont Safety and Construction
How does DuPont plan to continue to be an innovation leader?
For more than 200 years, DuPont’s research laboratory has been the birthplace for some of the biggest innovations in the world. … Our new portfolio enables DuPont to continue to be an innovation leader composed of technology-driven specialty businesses with highly differentiated products and solutions that transform industries and everyday life. We are always looking for growth opportunities.
DuPont’s operations will be business as usual in Midland, and the company’s commitment to safety will remain its top priority.
Company officials said they are proud to be a part of DuPont Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay community. The organization will continue to carry on the legacy of strong corporate citizenship through financial and in-kind contributions, including team member volunteers.
In the Great Lakes Bay region, DuPont manufacturers a number of products that serve the water, automotive and electronics markets with leading brands like Filmtec, StyroFoam, Great Stuff and Betamate.
DuPont employs more than 2,000 people in Michigan with locations in Midland, Auburn, Auburn Hills, Hemlock, Hillsdale and Troy. The company employs 1,200 Midland-area workers.
DuPont plans to continue to be an innovative leader composed of technology-driven specialty businesses that transform industries and everyday life. It is always looking for growth opportunities.
Corteva Agriscience has their largest manufacturing facility in the world located at the Dow Michigan Operations I-Park.
It is dedicated to partnering with communities in the Great Lakes Bay Region not only by creating jobs for local families, but also continuing to participate in food drives and partnerships with Hidden Harvest and the United Way.
The Midland location produces beneficial herbicides for rice, corn, soybean, cereal and other crops. The facility also produces a growth insecticide and commodity insecticide with associated formulations and packaging.
Corteva Agriscience Michigan is focused on supporting growth of its crop protection platform. The company employs 700 people in Midland, with an additional 40 contractors supporting 10 facilities involved in crop protection. Harbor Beach employs more than 100 employees and produces two main product families through a natural, classical fermentation process.
The Midland and Harbor Beach locations combined are critical to the success of Corteva Agriscience and hold the potential of significant positive impact on the region.
David Midkiff, Corteva Agriscience Michigan director
How is Corteva Agriscience positioned for growth?
Corteva Agriscience Michigan specifically is well-positioned and sharply focused on supporting growth of the Crop Protection Platform. Midland is Corteva’s largest global strategic site, employing more than 700 people, with an additional 40 contractors who support 10 stand-alone manufacturing facilities producing a variety of crop protection chemicals. Midland is the Center of Expertise for process research, technology development, and design & construction of active ingredient manufacturing assets.
SK Saran is the first American operation for SK Global Chemical Group. SK Group is the second-largest company in South Korea.
In addition to creating more job opportunities and economic growth throughout the region, SK Saran and the other Dow Michigan Operations I-Park tenants are focused on community safety and a positive social impact.
SK Saran produces Saran PVDC barrier polymer resin, which is sold to converters that produce film for food packaging, medical and industrial applications. The product is known for providing moisture and oxygen barrier performance, excellent chemical resistance, an exceptional flavor and aroma barrier, and low solubility to prevent product flavor degradation.
SK Saran performs product development work in Midland in addition to manufacturing. The firm’s product development efforts are targeted at protecting its current business and future growth opportunities.
SK Saran occupies 12 acres in the I-Park and employs 39 people.
Stephen Persyn, site leader, SK Saran Americas
How will SK Americas meet the needs of advanced chemical manufacturing?
The industrial park will be home to some of the most innovative companies in the world. Thanks to local universities and skilled trade programs, we have access to the talented people necessary to meet the needs of advanced chemical manufacturing.
Our region has great schools and health care providers that help with talent acquisition and retention.
Trinseo is a leading global materials company, founded in 2010, committed to the principles of Responsible Care® and being a good neighbor. The company’s largest employee base in the U.S. is located in Midland, MI. Trinseo’s Midland manufacturing location includes research laboratories and manufacturing facilities for latex binders used in paper coating and adhesives, as well as plastics used in cars and durable goods. Midland is also home to Trinseo’s North America Operations Center, with offices for employees in customer service, procurement, supply chain, finance, public affairs, and executive management.
Jeff Denton, senior vice president of corporate development and business services, Trinseo
How will the Dow Michigan Operations I-Park increase collaboration between organizations?
Because the I-Park has more tenants inside the fence line, there’s more diversity in corporate culture, ways of thinking and conducting business than ever before.
With that, there is greater opportunity to collaborate, share best practices, learn, grow and innovate all for a greater interest in serving customers and the community.
The new Dow Michigan Operations I-Park is significant for local communities. The development will bring jobs, innovation and growth to the region, and Cabot Corp. officials look forward to welcoming new neighbors who will join the company’s commitment to upholding the highest standards in safety, health and environmental practices, while also striving to make a positive and lasting impact in the local community.
Cabot is a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company in operation for over 135 years. In Midland, Cabot manufactures fumed silica, an ultrafine, high-purity particle used as a performance additive in adhesives and sealants, coatings, printing and packaging.
As a neighbor to Dow in the industrial park for 20 years, the two companies have been successful in creating value for each other. Cabot officials look forward to collaborating with new neighboring companies to continue to uphold high safety, health and environmental standards and drive new innovation in the region.
The Midland facility employs 25 people and occupies 40,000 square feet.
Bill Churm, Facility General Manager of Cabot, Midland
How is the Dow Michigan Operations I-Park significant to our region?
The new Dow Michigan Operations Industrial Park is significant for our communities. This development will bring jobs, innovation and growth to the region, and we look forward to welcoming new neighbors who will join our commitment to upholding the highest standards in safety, health and environmental practices, while also striving to make a positive and lasting impact in our local community.
The Face of Dow Michigan Operations I-Park: Building Identities A Q&A on strengthening the region and a global economy
Much like a community, it takes many individual pieces to create the whole picture. The companies taking residence at Dow Michigan Operations I-Park illustrate the premise well. In the following, we talk to various community leaders and employees and ask their views on how the new face of the Dow Michigan Operations I-Park is impacting the region and beyond.
Jimmy Greene, CEO and president of ABC-The Greater Michigan Chapter/Greater Michigan Construction Academy
How will the Dow Michigan Operations I-Park further strengthen the skilled trades industry in the Great Lakes Bay region?
It’s not that it just strengthens the skilled trade industry and creates opportunities in the Great Lakes Bay region but it reinforces how strong the skilled trades talent is in this region. Each of the companies relocating into this region certainly demonstrated that their due diligence on talent clearly suggested we could meet that demand.
Lori Flippen, STEM initiative leader of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance
What does the future of STEM education look like related to the new industrial park?
The Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance has continued its commitment to making STEM a key part of the region’s culture, thanks in part to the foresight of visionary financial backers including the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation and the former Dow Corning Corp. Foundation. Regional funders invested in the landmark STEM Impact Initiative launched in 2014. The initiative recognized that regions with a strong STEM workforce can generate higher standards of living as well as long-term economic growth and stability. The region is home to some of the most prominent STEM companies in the world, and with research forecasting that STEM jobs will fill an increasingly large share of the future economy, the Great Lakes Bay region is poised to reap the benefits of ongoing investment in STEM.
Adrianne Cole, director of STEM@SVSU
How will the Dow Michigan Operations I-Park further strengthen STEM education in the Great Lakes Bay region?
STEM is present in all aspects of our daily lives. Therefore, students need to be given the appropriate tools to effectively contribute to our global society. Dow Chemical Co. and its employees have been an integral asset in the partnership between K-12 schools, higher education and local businesses. As businesses join the I-Park, their focus on innovation and collaboration will allow us to make an even greater impact on the future of the STEM pipeline in the Great Lakes Bay region and beyond.
Jennifer Hayes, Michigan Operations Learning Leader at the Dow Chemical Company
How will the Dow Michigan Operations I-Park further strengthen workplace education?
The I-Park will feature a wider variety of manufacturing companies to further the growth of the region. A key criterion for business growth is always the talent pool/pipelines. All of the businesses in the I-Park will want to further train and invest in their talent or risk losing them to another regional business. The opportunity to grow and learn is one of the top reasons that employees join and stay with companies. Many companies that manufacture products here will be able to build on a strong foundation of collaboration and partnership in the arena of workplace education. Having had similar roots (Dow), our foundational training can be shared and allow for specialization as needed. I anticipate we will find ways to leverage things with each other both to support a strong talent pipeline and technology growth.