ANN ARBOR – A California semiconductor and nonoelectronics company, KLA-Tencor Corp., plans to build a research-and-development center in Ann Arbor that could generate more than $70 million in capital investment and some 500 high-tech jobs over the next five years.

That project, along with a $3.6 million expansion by Coyote Logistics that will create 300 jobs in the city of Detroit, was approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced this week. The new investments draw on the state’s R&D climate and timely supply of high-skilled engineering talent and logistical resources.

KLA-Tencor’s R&D semiconductor research center will be a major boost to the semiconductor industry in Michigan. Automotive companies purchase $21.8 million of semiconductors from Michigan-based companies. It’s expected that demand for semiconductors will increase rapidly with the development of mobility and autonomous vehicles.

“KLA’s investment is a catalyst for attracting other high-tech companies and underscores the state’s growing automotive and technology R&D assets,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of MEDC, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

KLA-Tencor Corporation provides process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nanoelectronics industries. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, the company has approximately 6,800 employees worldwide, but does not currently have any in Michigan.

“KLA-Tencor is committed to innovation and a high level of R&D talent is a necessary element to develop the complex solutions that our customers need,” said Chief Strategic Officer Bobby Bell.

“Among the decisive reasons for building a major R&D hub in Michigan are Ann Arbor and the Detroit metropolitan area’s attractive talent pool, relative low-cost of living (compared to the San Francisco region where KLA-Tencor is headquartered), proximity to Detroit Metropolitan Airport and other logistical advantages that support KLA-Tencor’s leading international semiconductor and electronics customers,” Bell said. “These advantages enable innovation across a broad spectrum of semiconductor consumption and electronics, including data storage, cloud computing, machine learning and automotive.” 

“Ann Arbor also stood out by giving us the opportunity to strengthen our partnership with the University of Michigan and its proximity to the automotive industry,” he said. “Locating in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area allows the company to draw from one of the greatest concentrations of engineering talent in the U.S.”

The investment qualifies for Good Jobs for Michigan withholding tax capture for up to eight years, and a $1.5-million Michigan Business Development Program Performance-based grant.

The project brings the total of jobs created under the Good Jobs for Michigan program to nearly 1,000, including an announcement by pharmaceutical leader Pfizer in July 2018 that it was establishing a new, $465-million manufacturing facility in Portage, a project that will create 450 highly-skilled, high-paying jobs. Gov. Snyder signed the Good Jobs for Michigan job-creation package into law in July 2017.  

Individuals interested in careers with KLA-Tencor should visit