© creasencesro dreamstime.com General | June 13, 2019
KLA opens new R&D facility in Ann Arbor
California-based global electronics company KLA opened a temporary research and development office Tuesday in Ann Arbor, with intentions of later establishing its second headquarters just outside the city.
The company moved into a 58,000-square-foot space on Green Road, where it will operate until a new 230,000-square-foot office opens in summer 2021 at the Ann Arbor Technology Park in Ann Arbor Township. When the permanent campus opens, it will house more than double its current center's capacity (250 employees). KLA purchased land from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor Township and its campus will be located in the Ann Arbor Technology Park just east of US-23. Its total investment is an estimated USD 150 million. According to local news outlet MLive, the company is planning to hire 500 to 600 new employees, including approximately 100 this year. KLA senior director John McLaughlin, an Ann Arbor native and University of Michigan alum said, "It’s really exciting to do this in your hometown, to see all these jobs created in Southeast Michigan, to see a California company coming in and setting up shop here is just hugely exciting. For me, personally, it’s just really gratifying to be leading that effort." KLA CEO Rick Wallace also spoke at the event, telling attendees that the 40-year-old company currently employs 10,000 people and is confident its newest hub will help facilitate growth. "We’ve placed quite a big bet,” Wallace said. “And I’ve told a number of employees around KLA: If you want to know where there’s growth and where there’s potential and where the future is, for KLA it’s really our commitment to what we’re doing in Michigan, what we’re doing in Ann Arbor." According to the MLive story, engineering jobs will account for more than 50% of the new hires, with the remainder devoted to corporate functions such as finance, information technology, marketing and procurement. “This is the most important new site the company has done in 20 years in terms of our starting from scratch and building out, and it’s because of our confidence in what we’ve seen,” Wallace said. The new space will not replace KLA’s Milpitas, California headquarters.