MI: Grand Rapids to Receive 600 New Jobs and $84 Million Worth of Investments | Trade and Industry Development

MI: Grand Rapids to Receive 600 New Jobs and $84 Million Worth of Investments

May 25, 2012

The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), announced the approval of $2.65 million in Michigan Business Development Program incentives from the Michigan Strategic Fund that will enable three West Michigan’s employers to move forward on $84 million worth of local expansions that will generate 600 new jobs for the area in three years.

Amway $1.6 million incentive from the MEDC for $81m local expansion; 200 new local jobs projected over three years.The incentive will allow Amway to proceed with the construction of a new manufacturing facility at its Spaulding Avenue site for its NUTRILITE brand. Construction is set to begin in 2012 with production of NUTRILITE vitamins and supplements scheduled to begin late 2014.

The expansion will create 50 jobs at start-up and 200 total over a three-year period. Most jobs will be advanced manufacturing positions.
Amway is investing nearly $180 million globally to significantly expand U.S. manufacturing and processing capacity to meet growing global demand for its top-selling NUTRILITE brand of vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements.

The incentive played a key role for Amway to select Michigan over sites in other states.

“NUTRILITE is integral to the future of Amway as the world’s number one selling vitamin and supplement brand,” said Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos in a joint statement. “By bringing a second nutrition product manufacturing plant to our home market of Michigan, we are helping our distributors meet the growing customer demand for our NUTRILITE products. We are pleased to work in partnership with the MEDC and The Right Place in bringing this investment to West Michigan. This type of collaboration is critical in driving long-term business growth across the state."

“Amway’s investment is very encouraging to The Right Place, and to the region as well, as this announcement demonstrates that manufacturing remains strong and growing in West Michigan. We applaud Amway for expanding NUTRILITE brand operations and workforce in its hometown. We are pleased to see 200 new Amway jobs added to the region,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc.

Ada Township is expected to offer supporting local tax abatements for Amway.

Center Manufacturing, Inc. $300,000 incentive from the MEDC for $1m local expansion; 100 new local jobs projected over three years. The incentive will allow Center Manufacturing, Inc. to expand its product offerings and increase production of components for Honda Power Sports. Honda will introduce several new recreational vehicles over the next two years and Center is expanding its manufacturing capacity to support the new business.

Production will take place at Center’s Byron Center, Michigan headquarters.

Center Manufacturing has 8 manufacturing sites; 5 in Michigan and facilities in South Carolina, Virginia and Mississippi. Center chose to maintain its production of safety critical, complex frame structures in the Grand Rapids area due to the availability of highly skilled workers and engineering talent.

The expansion will create 50 jobs at start-up and 100 total over a three-year period. Jobs will be in direct labor, technical support and several engineering and design positions.

“The Right Place is pleased to see Center Manufacturing expand its power sports business in Grand Rapids,” said Megan Sall, Business Development Manager, The Right Place, Inc. “Our region’s skilled labor force and transportation infrastructure make West Michigan very competitive for this type of work.”

Byron Township is expected to offer supporting local tax abatements for Center Manufacturing, Inc.

MedDirect, Inc $750,000 incentive from the MEDC for $2.1m local expansion; 300 new local jobs projected over three years. MedDirect, Inc., a Grand Rapids-based patient customer service and patient pay accounts receivable management company, was approved to receive a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program incentive to open a new facility in the City of Grand Rapids. MedDirect proposes to invest up to $2.1 million and create up to 300 new jobs over the next three years. Michigan was chosen over surrounding states based on its desirable work force, Grand Rapid’s excellent infrastructure, and the years of strong tenure MedDirect has already experienced in the state.

“The Right Place is pleased to have assisted in securing MedDirect’s growth in greater Grand Rapids,” said Megan Sall, Business Development Manager, The Right Place, Inc. “As MedDirect continues to grow, the strong talent pool available locally as well as our strong telecommunications infrastructure were key reasons for the company’s decision to remain in Grand Rapids.”

The City of Grand Rapids has offered project support in the form of a 7-year personal property tax abatement.

Michigan Business Development Program
Signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in December, the Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing.

The MSF will consider a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and net-positive return to the state. Business retention and retail projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.

The Michigan Business Development Program replaces the state’s previous MEGA program that was a feature of the Michigan Business Tax that was eliminated under business tax restructuring legislation approved and signed into law by Gov. Snyder in May 2011.

With this latest economic development project, The Right Place, working with its local and state partners, has generated $115,800,000 in capital investment and assisted in the retention and creation of 739 jobs in West Michigan in 2012.

About The Right Place, Inc.
The Right Place, Inc. is a regional non-profit economic development organization founded in 1985 and supported through investments from the private and public sector. Its mission is to promote economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and technology in West Michigan by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. http://www.rightplace.org

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