Stewart said Stellantis and Dakkota “worked hand in hand” with the city and partners to get the plant done.
“So pleased that Andra decided to locate it right here in Detroit so close to our facilities because as we go forward, another key part of this is distance for our supply base,” Stewart told reporters at the event.
Under Rush, Dakkota is one of the largest Native American, women-owned companies in the country. Rush quietly shut down her trucking business in February 2021, a month before production launched at the plant in Detroit.
Locating in the city was important, Rush said, because Dakkota — which means “friend” or “ally” in the Native American Dakota language — values diversity and uplifting the community in which it does business.
About 90 percent of the Detroit plant’s 500 employees identify as a member of a minority group, and more than 40 percent are women, according to the company. After six months on the job, employees are eligible for pre-paid college tuition, books and continuing education programs.
“We will help you find an area of interest or expertise that you can get excited about,” Rush said. “What I find is that people believe in me back … So, Detroit, knowing what it was and what it can be … I’ve always wanted an opportunity to find that.”
The company aims to hire another 75 people in the coming months.
“The fact that this a Michigan production right here at Dakkota Kettering top to bottom is a point of pride for all the people who work here but also for everyone in our state,” Whitmer said at the event.