Michigan’s commitment to developing talent and creating an environment for businesses to grow and thrive is producing more and better jobs, Gov. Rick Snyder said after touring a new Newell Rubbermaid design center in Kalamazoo.
The company is investing $2.3 million and creating up to 100 design jobs in a facility located in the Business Technology and Research Park at Western Michigan University.
Newell Rubbermaid is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with brands including Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Graco, Calphalon, Paper Mate, and Irwin. The new Kalamazoo facility is a state-of-the-art design center that will serve as a hub to consolidate all of its product and graphic design capabilities.
“Having a world-class company such as Newell Rubbermaid choose to locate in Michigan is a great win for us and a testament to our talented work force,” Snyder said. “We’ve known for years that Michigan is a research and development hotbed. Our focus is to continue developing that talent, finding ways for our business leaders to collaborate and connect with our universities and school districts so students can graduate with in-demand skills.”
Newell Rubbermaid said Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Chicago.
The new jobs in Kalamazoo are among the more than a quarter-million new private sector jobs created in Michigan since the end of 2010.
"We have conversations with millions of consumers through our products every day, and through great design and innovation we will elevate these conversations to a new level," said Chuck Jones, Newell Rubbermaid's chief design and research & development officer. “Our new Design Center brings together all the disciplines in design and innovation under one roof to collaborate across our entire portfolio of great brands."
The Michigan Business Development program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments and create jobs in the state. Newell Rubbermaid received a $2 million Michigan Business Development performance based grant and the city of Kalamazoo has offered tax abatements valued at $164,000.
Southwest Michigan First was a key partner with the State of Michigan in bringing Newell Rubbermaid to Kalamazoo.
"We thank Newell Rubbermaid for selecting Southwest Michigan and embracing our region's product design community," said Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest Michigan First. "In our efforts to attract the company, we are grateful to our partners for their unwavering commitment to jobs creation and collaboration, including Western Michigan University, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County and AVB Construction. We anxiously look forward to the ideas that will start here, become Newell Rubbermaid products and find their way into our homes to make our lives better."