Company

Natalie King has big plans for a future factory on Detroit’s east side.

National Business League President and CEO Ken Harris talks Wednesday at Stellantis' Conner Center in Detroit at the announcement that 13 companies will participate in the pilot of the first National Black Supplier Development Program. © Stellantis National Business League President and CEO Ken Harris talks Wednesday at Stellantis' Conner Center in Detroit at the announcement that 13 companies will participate in the pilot of the first National Black Supplier Development Program.

King’s company, Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, will build residential and commercial electric vehicle chargers there starting next year, she said Wednesday. The lease on the property will be signed soon, so King didn't want to give a precise location.

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King, who is the company’s CEO, has hopes to become a supplier to Stellantis.  Because of a new program, King, whose company is based on Eight Mile Road in Detroit, now has a connection to the automaker that owns the Jeep, Ram, Chrysler and Dodge brands.

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Dunamis is one of 13 companies selected as part of the first National Black Supplier Development Program, a joint effort by Stellantis and the National Business League, a trade association founded by Booker T. Washington, to create opportunities for Black-owned businesses to directly connect with major businesses and compete for supplier contracts.

King said she has 155 employees now and will hire 30 workers for EV charger assembly with expectations of doubling that within a year because of the expected increasing demand for EVs. King said one of the goals of her company is to provide jobs for underemployed Detroit residents and to connect more people to a growing area of the industry.

“We anticipate that we will (capture) a significant amount of the market share and be able to create jobs and bring those that wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to this technology, particularly Black and brown communities, that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to share in this huge emerging market and the expansive wealth creation that it will bring,” King told the Free Press.

The program announcement came during a kickoff event Wednesday at Stellantis’ Conner Center in Detroit, which formerly housed production for the discontinued Dodge Viper.

The businesses range from ACE Petroleum, a Detroit-based fuel supplier, to ISIAH International and One World Pharma led by former Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas, whose business plans to grow hemp as a replacement for some automotive plastics.

Thomas told the Free Press his company will grow hemp in Colombia and ship it in pellet form for use in moldings.

“Hemp is really what the environment and what the world is calling for. It’s a natural carbon sink, reduces carbon. When you look at it in the automotive space, it’s lighter than plastics, it takes carbon out of the air and it’s more cost-efficient,” Thomas said, noting that BMW has already used hemp in its vehicles.

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The supplier program, which is planned as a pilot project to run through the first quarter of next year as an initial phase of a larger effort, aims to boost opportunities, helping with connections and development for businesses that often don’t get a chance to compete for large business contracts.

Most Black-owned businesses are either single-employee or home-based operations or employ a handful of workers, and most don’t have the capacity to supply Fortune 500 companies or the federal government, according to Stellantis. The company said it plans to eventually open the program to other automakers and the federal government, creating a virtual marketplace and fostering access to capital.

Ken Harris, president and CEO of the National Business League, said Black businesspeople have worked to realize larger ambitions for many years in spite of the challenges.

“Black businesses have always wanted to be a part of the economic mainstream of society even during and immediately after slavery ended,” he said, noting that Black business efforts have had to overcome racial violence and barriers along the way. “After 400 years of anti-Black sentiment and racial oppression and more than 50 years after the civil rights movement, Black businesses are at the bottom of the racial and economic hierarchy and the racial pervasiveness that still is around today.”

More: Byron Allen gets Hollywood star as he negotiates deals with Detroit Three

More: Stellantis hires firm to check Mack factory odor complaints, says equipment worked properly

Mark Stewart, chief operating officer for Stellantis in North America, said that the way to realize this country’s full promise is to make sure the economy is open equally to everyone.

“Taking a leadership role in helping others is very important for us  Regardless of what our name is on the building, we’re a house of brands and we’re a family of Stellantis, but this is important and it’s absolutely vital to us,” Stewart said.

Stellantis formed earlier this year from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Group.

Contact Eric D. Lawrence: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @_ericdlawrenceBecome a subscriber. 

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Company that plans to build EV chargers in Detroit part of Stellantis Black supplier group

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/company-that-plans-to-build-ev-chargers-in-detroit-part-of-stellantis-black-supplier-group/ar-AAPMqAd

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