From the "take a bad thing and make it good" files comes a story about C3 Ventures. The automotive supplier, which makes interior plastic components for Tesla, announced yesterday it will open up a facility in Flint, MI. As you probably know, that city has been rebounding from a serious water infrastructure problem for the past year or so. High levels of lead in the city water meant that people were using tons of pre-packaged water bottles. C3 Ventures now says it's going to turn those empty bottles into Tesla parts.

The new production facility will add about 380 jobs, moving them from China and Turkey, C3 Ventures chairman and founder Bob Schaffer told MLive. In a prepared statement (available below) he also said that, "Producing parts for zero-emission electric vehicles is central to our mission." It's a small thing, overall, but a big one for Flint, and when you touch a plastic bit in a Tesla Model 3, it just might be an old water bottle.
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C3 Venture Announces Jobs, Investment in Flint

FLINT, Mich., July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- C3 Venture Flint LLC, a privately held company that manufactures interior plastic automotive components, will move into the Riverview Industrial Park in Flint and hire nearly 400 new employees.

C3 Venture will invest $9.68 million to acquire the 17.69-acre site in industrial park on James P. Cole Boulevard where it will manufacture plastic parts for Tesla Motors. The company will initially occupy the 16,000-square-foot office building and a 19,600-square-foot industrial building, where it will install injection molding machines and tooling to manufacture parts.

Work at the site is expected to begin this fall. The company will initially employ about 50 people in the first year and grow to nearly 400 employees, as operations expand at the site.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today awarded C3 Venture a $5.7-million performance-based loan, which may be converted to a grant if the company meets job-creation milestones.

"This is work currently being done in China and we're moving it to Flint," said Bob Schaffer, Chairman and Founder of C3 Venture. The company also considered sites in Indiana and California.

"Flint is a manufacturing town. Manufacturing is embedded in Flint's heritage and the work ethic here is strong. For those reasons, you could say that Flint chose C3."

The company intends to begin moving and setting up equipment in September after it closes on the property next month. Production is expected to ramp up in early October, said company officials.

C3 Venture will work with GST Michigan Works! as the company looks to add employees at the facility.

Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Herman applauded today's announcement, adding that the project will help Flint exceed its goal of creating 1,000 new jobs here.

"The 380 jobs that C3 has committed to are part of a broader jobs goal announced earlier this year by Mission Flint," said Herman. "In addition, we're seeing a valuable piece of industrial real estate being returned to productive use. And that's a strong indicator that Flint is, indeed, open for business."

C3 Venture – which has diversified holdings, including real estate, manufacturing and others – is more than a plastics company, said Schaffer.

"C3 stands for: Clean Air. Clean Water. Clean Soil," he said. "Producing parts for zero-emission electric vehicles is central to our mission. Our drive to be good environmental stewards extends to our manufacturing process."

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