Nofs, Brown applaud news of 185 new Tenneco jobs

 LANSING — Tenneco Automotive Operating Company Inc. plans to create 185 jobs in Calhoun, Hillsdale, Jackson and Monroe counties in the coming year, said state Sens. Mike Nofs and Cameron S. Brown.

Tenneco Automotive Operating Company plans to invest $15.6 million to consolidate its United States facilities to multiple sites in Michigan. The project will result in 185 direct jobs with an average weekly wage of $722 in the first year. The company also offers health care and plans to pay a portion of the benefit costs.

The company, which is receiving a Standard Employment Tax Credit valued at $1.8 million throughout the next seven years, will operate facilities in Grass Lake, Litchfield, Marshall and Monroe. Nebraska and Tennessee were also considered for the project.

“As a supplier to many of the world’s top automotive companies, I am pleased that Tenneco has chosen to consolidate its diesel emission control operations here in Michigan, and that this decision will likely lead to new jobs in Calhoun and Jackson counties,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “I think this speaks volumes about the quality of our workforce and reinforces the fact that Michigan is still a great place to design and build things.”

By 2017, it is estimated that these facilities will generate a total of 684 jobs and increase state revenues by $18 million.

“This is great news for our local economies as well as the entire state of Michigan,” said Brown, R-Fawn River Township. “I applaud Tenneco for choosing Michigan and the city of Litchfield for supporting this project.”

Tenneco Automotive Operating Company Inc., a subsidiary of Tenneco, Inc., manufactures emission control and ride control products for the automotive original equipment manufacturer market and aftermarket. The company’s customers include General Motors Corp., Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Toyota, Tata Motors and several other firms.

Headquartered in Illinois, Tenneco had more than $4.6 billion in annual revenue in 2009. The company has locations across the world, including several facilities in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Nebraska.

Tenneco currently has 1,461 employees in Michigan and more than 21,000 employees worldwide.

Senate approves Nofs bill strengthening adult foster care licensing requirements

LANSING―Legislation that increases security at Michigan’s adult foster care facilities was approved by the state Senate on Tuesday, said Sen. Mike Nofs, sponsor of the bill.

Senate Bill 1101, part of a three bill package, imposes restrictions, criminal background checks and other requirements on owners, partners or directors of adult foster care facilities applying for a state license. Such restrictions already apply to staff and volunteers at the facilities.

“As a former law enforcement officer, I view the protection of our most vulnerable adults and children as a top priority,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “This bill will help ensure that those who have been convicted of crimes against adults will not be able to gain access to seniors residing in adult foster care homes or homes for the aged.”

Specifically, the bill will:

* Require an applicant for a license to consent to a criminal history check and a criminal records check;

* Require an owner, partner, or director who has direct access to residents of an adult foster care facility or who has on-site facility operational responsibilities to consent to a criminal history check and a criminal records check;

* Prohibit the Department of Human Services from issuing a license to or renewing the license of an applicant, a licensee designee, or an owner, partner, or director who has regular direct access to residents or on-site operational responsibilities, if he or she had been convicted of a misdemeanor within 10 years before the application, or had been convicted of a felony; and

* Prohibit a licensee, licensee designee, or owner, partner, or director of a licensee from being permitted on the premises of a facility if he or she had been convicted of adult abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, or a listed offense under the Sex Offenders Registration Act.

“Families place a tremendous amount of trust in the owners and operators of adult foster care facilities to take care of their loved ones,” said Nofs. “These are vulnerable adults and it is our duty to help make sure they are treated with the best care possible.”

SB 1101 received unanimous Senate approval and now goes to the state House for consideration.

Nofs: Financial Literacy month will help youth become fiscally-responsible

LANSING―A resolution adopted by the Michigan Senate on Tuesday establishes April 2010 as Youth Financial Literacy Month in the state, said Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek.

“The economic climate in Michigan presents an excellent opportunity to educate our youth on sound personal financial and money management skills so they can become prepared, productive and fiscally-responsible citizens,” said Nofs, primary sponsor of Senate Resolution 140. “Michigan families have had to make tough financial decisions and make every dollar stretch as far as possible in these economic time. It is important that we highlight the need for financial literacy and teach our children how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.”

The resolution, which received unanimous support, declares April 2010 Youth Financial Literacy Month in Michigan, and urges parents, schools, businesses, community organizations, and units of government to observe the month with appropriate programs and activities in order to raise public awareness about the need for increased financial literacy in schools and amongst children.