ANN ARBOR, MI — A California-based company became a part of Ann Arbor’s technology industry on Nov. 5 with the opening of its second headquarters in the U.S.
KLA, which produces equipment that helps create electronic components, recently opened a $200 million research and development campus, featuring corporate functions and a “clean room.”
The Ann Arbor headquarters — a six-story, 230,000-square foot building located on 18 acres in Ann Arbor Township — is focused on advancing semiconductor manufacturing through research of manufacturing tools and machine learning applications.
The headquarters also features employee amenities such as a coffee shop, fitness center and electric vehicle charging stations, as well as corporate offices focusing on supply chain, procurement, IT, finance, legal and Human Resources departments.
“We’re super, super excited,” said John McLaughin, the Ann Arbor site leader. “It certainly will help us attract people to the business and Ann Arbor.”
KLA currently has a team of 300 people at the new location, with an additional 300 planned hires over the next 12 to 18 months.
The 51,000-square foot clean room will help the company complete research and design for semiconductor manufacturing. McLaughin said KLA is focused on helping its customers “improve yield” of semiconductors during an ongoing technology shortage.
“Our customers are the ones who actually make the chips,” he said.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who attended the campus’ ribbon-cutting on Friday, Nov. 5, said KLA is part of “the next generation of technology and innovation.”
“With KLA’s bold investment and commitment to the community, we’ll continue growing Michigan’s economy, creating good-paying jobs, and securing our position on the world’s high-tech stage,” Whitmer said in a statement announcing the opening. “Together, we will usher in a new era of prosperity for our families and communities.”
KLA considered more than 350 North American locations before choosing Michigan, according to a press release from Whitmer’s office. In the end, KLA chose Ann Arbor because of its global accessibility and existing technology industry, McLaughin said.
“It’s a great collision of things,” McLaughin said, adding that the company wanted to “tap into a brand-new pipeline of talent.”
Draws to Ann Arbor included high quality of life, increased accessibility to the global market via nearby international airports and a lower cost of living than its current Silicon Valley headquarters, McLaughin said, in addition to the current industry.
“It was exciting to see a technology ecosystem in place here,” he said.
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