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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Semiconductor Firm Moving To Michigan

Yet another Valley-area manufacturer has announced that it is leaving as semiconductor firm Advanced Photonix Inc. will move its corporate headquarters from Camarillo to Ann Arbor, Mich. According to Richard Kurtz, the chairman and CEO of API, the decision was based on more factors than strictly bottom-line considerations. “In May of last year, we acquired a company called Picometrix and the founders of the firm actually ended up as part of our management team,” Richard Kurtz, the chairman and CEO of API, said. “Ultimately, three of the four largest shareholders and three of our four key executives live in Ann Arbor and the fourth lives in Wisconsin. It was a matter of logistics.” However, Kurtz also acknowledged that overtures from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and California’s business climate also played a significant role in API’s decision. “Pending approval, the state of Michigan is giving us tax incentives that will be very beneficial in the long run for us and by combining two of our facilities there will be operational cost savings,” Kurtz said. “We’ve had dialogue with the state of Michigan for six months and they offered us a package that was very appealing. Also some of California’s rules and regulations helped make our decision easier, such as rules that make companies pay overtime for over eight hours of labor even if employees are working 40 hours a week or less. Michigan only requires overtime for working 40-plus hours a week.” Though API’s California and Wisconsin semiconductor micro-fabrication operations will be moved into the Ann Arbor facility, Kurtz said layoffs will be minimal, as many of the employees locally will either be shifted to API’s Tustin testing area or work in packaging and assembly in the California and Wisconsin facilities. But the corporate headquarters will be gone and Kurtz remained vague as to whether in the future additional employees will be added locally. Officials would not break out how many employees are housed in the Camarillo headquarters. The consolidation is expected to be completed within the next 12 to 14 months, and the company will benefit from a single business tax credit valued at more than $1.1 million over ten years, which has been approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Additional local real property tax abatements are also expected.

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