Company expanding and accessing diverse talent pools
Highland Park, Michigan (September 16, 2021) – Following a $30-million capital investment, global automotive supplier Yanfeng announced it has exceeded its initial hiring goals and now employs more than 675 employees at its retooled, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Highland Park. The facility assembles automotive interior components, including cockpits, floor consoles and door panels.
“At Yanfeng, all eyes are on Highland Park as we launch innovative automotive interior components,” said Tony Elenbaas, vice president and general manager, North America for Yanfeng. “This plant represents a significant investment for our company in the region and is a benchmark facility in our network. Michigan is essential for us and offers top-tier talent as we send just-in time parts deliveries to our customer.”
In 2020, the 220,000 square-foot facility underwent a complete redesign of its manufacturing plant. This redesign included new manufacturing equipment, plastic injection molding automation and systems, automated guided vehicles, advanced manufacturing execution and warehouse management software systems as well as an integrated overhead storage and retrieval system that the company only previously used in China. In Michigan, Yanfeng has eight technical centers and plants, including its North American headquarters in Novi. In total, the company employs more than 3,700 people in the state of Michigan, its largest talent cluster in the United States.
“Talent is the single most important factor in locating decisions for every employer in every market,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership. “What companies find in our region is a deeper, more diverse and highly skilled labor market that’s uniquely qualified to help innovate in advanced and smart manufacturing.”
With the support of the Detroit Regional Partnership, Yanfeng set a comprehensive hiring strategy which included workforce initiatives such as the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) apprenticeship program through Henry Ford Community College. It also connected with partners such as the Autism Alliance of Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and SEMCA Michigan Works!, to access diverse, non-traditional groups of candidates, a process outlined in a recently released video by the Detroit Regional Partnership: https://youtu.be/2Ye5fTikA7o
“We have had remarkable growth in a short period of time and we’re looking to add more staff,” said Taneisha Upshaw, human resources manager at the Highland Park facility, which started the launch hiring process in January 2021, expanding its staff from 250 and working toward a goal of 830. “Working with the Detroit Regional Partnership, Autism Alliance and other partners, we are able to hire quality employees through diverse talent pools that we might not have identified otherwise.”
The Detroit Regional Partnership recently created a new position, director of talent solutions, and hired Sarah Gregory. Formerly of the Workforce Intelligence Network, Gregory’s job is to help companies evaluate the available workforce and connect prospects with partners, resources and data to understand how the region’s talent value proposition can meet their needs.
About the Detroit Regional Partnership
The Detroit Regional Partnership is a public-private economic development partnership focused on marketing and business attraction for the 11-county Detroit Region. It serves as a convenient single point of contact to all regional resources and works with companies and site selectors to help manage their projects and support their transition into the region. It specializes in helping companies understand and access the competitive advantages of our region – from workforce data to state and local incentives. Visit www.DetroitRegionalPartnership.com.
Yanfeng is a leading global automotive supplier, focusing on interior, exterior, seating, cockpit electronics, and passive safety, and is exploring new business actively. Yanfeng has more than 240 locations and approximately 55,000 employees worldwide. The technical team of 4,200 experts is located in nine R&D centers and other regional offices, with complete capabilities including engineering and software development, design and user experience, and test validation. Focusing on Smart Cabin and lightweight technology, Yanfeng supports automakers to explore future mobility and provide leading cabin solutions.
For more information, please visit www.yfai.com or www.yanfeng.com.
Tamekia (Ashford) Nixon