Dakkota delivers Stellantis Jeep seedlings from previous high school

The coronavirus pandemic delayed the grand opening, but on Thursday, Dakkota Integrated Systems, a major supplier to Chrysler parent Stellanti’s Detroit assembly plants, unveiled its 375,000-square-foot facility on the site of Detroit’s former Kettering High School.

A large blue letter “K”, a restored symbol of the former school, connects the site to its past life and the surrounding neighborhood while being a recognizable landmark of the site on the city’s east side, a short drive south on Van Dyke from Interstate 94 .

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who joined corporate officials, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and others at the factory on Thursday, noted that the ground was broken in January 2020, a challenging time when covid-19 spread around the world, but that the operation had “pushed through” “and opened its doors in July.

Now 500 workers, many of them Detroiters, are working at the Kettering plant, which will build the dashboards installed in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, assembled at the Stellantis Mack and Jefferson North plants.

The capital blue letter

Duggan noted the transformation of the area and said: “We stand on the site of a high school that had been abandoned for a decade. It now employs more than 500 people in good UAW jobs. How good is that?”

Wages at the facility range from $ 15.50 to $ 20.25 per hour, according to the company.

A press release noted that Dakkota, which has 14 facilities in Ohio; Michigan; Illinois; Ontario, Canada and Kentucky, and also supplying Ford and General Motors factories, plan to add 75 jobs to its workforce in the coming months. Second Rush, Dakota’s founder, chairman and CEO, noted, however, that the Kettering site has the potential to expand and can add as many as 700 jobs if the conditions are right.

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