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Yankee Fan

GR Area Business Success Stories

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A topic that gets very little coverage is that of manufacturing in West Michigan that is either expanding, acquiring additional businesses, and/or is in a stable growth mode. It would be nice if we were to devote some time to those companies that have made the additional commitments to manufacturing in our area.

Here is a short list of companies that come to mind. If you have pictures, additional statistics, or other companies that have similar stories to tell, this would be a great place to highlight them.

A starter list:

Big Dutchman- consolidating its Kentucky plant into its Holland headquarters and establishing a new, larger location.

Tiara Yachts- Adding 400 jobs, just finished a very large expansion of their facilities in Holland. Most of the jobs being added are trade jobs, such as carpentry and finishing.

X-Rite- Kudos to this company for taking some of the eyesore factor on Broadmoor away by relocating its operations to part of the old Bosch plant. They are also acquiring a company our of Europe and adding quite a few positions.

Perrigo- Continuing to expand in Allegan and acquiring companies, some from overseas.

Wolverine World Wide- They are adding a lot of retail stores in the next two years and are in the process of acquiring Patagonia. Lots of manufacturing jobs being added as well as technical positions.

Herman Miller- In a planned approach, they are working very hard to continue to add line workers to their payroll (these jobs pay really well). Additional props to them for the diversity and inclusiveness program that Michael Ramirez is heading up for them. Instead of just talk, they are actively trying to lure a diverse group of employees to work for them to better reflect their clients.

Royal Plastics- Continuing to hire hourly workers and they have done a great job of diversifying away from just automotive to a much broader spectrum of clients. Plans are to add 400-600 jobs in the next 5 years.

I am sure that there are more, so have at it!

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Here are some more examples YankeeFan:

Surefil - New HQ and plant expansion, planned addition of 278 new jobs, highly automated bottle and container manufacturing

Intertek ETL (Entela) - Quality control testing systems and laboratories, sharing old Bosch facility on 44th with X-Rite, expansion and addition of 23 new jobs

Borisch Manufacturing - Aerospace components for the military, $3.4 Million expansion, 100 new jobs to its current 195

Roskam Baking Co. - New contracts, 100 new jobs to be added, 1015 local employees currently

Konica Minolta (American Litho) - Two expansions, $8.7 Million and 30 new jobs last October, and $13.3 Million and 81 new jobs being added currently

Advance Packaging - New 406,000 sf, $42 Million facility

Betz Industries - Recently expanded 35,000 sf and added 20 new jobs

Kellogg Co - Invested $5.6 Million into the previously closed Keebler facilities and added 244 new jobs

Ranir DCP - dental supplies, recently underwent expansion

Lack Enterprises - In the middle of a five year multi-million dollar expansion plan

United Solar Ovonics - Greenville, high-tech solar cell production, two new $120 Million plants, 400 jobs, with a possible 6 total plants to be built

Challenge Mfg - Holland, $23 Million expansion adding 150 new jobs

Leprino Foods - Allegan Twp, Mozzarella cheese production, $83 Million investment in new facilities, 53 new jobs

Hazenkamp Meets/Premier Foods - Fruitport, $2.1 Million expansion, 40 new jobs

Gentex - Holland, $28 Million corporate HQ investment, 250 new jobs

Haworth - Holland, administrative expansion - 609 new jobs

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:0zMKTO...t=clnk&cd=7

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:DtT5EG...t=clnk&cd=3

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A couple more today Yankeefan:

West Pharmaceutical/The Tech Group - Local medical device maker plans to spend $12.4 Million in facility/equipment upgrades and add 164 new jobs

Steel Supply and Engineering/Tallgrass Properties - 12,000 sf addition, $2.4 Million and 20 new jobs

Siemens Water Techology/US Filter - Holland - $3 Million facility expansion, 127 new jobs

Consumers Energy JH Campbell Plant - Port Sheldon Twp - $400 Million coal plant emission reduction project - 1400 contract workers over the next year

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Steelcase sales at a five year high

Profits also increased. The company said it made $26.6 million or 18 cents a share compared to $13.8 million or 9 cents a share last year.

Much of this attributed to Steelcase increasing their outsourcing to local contract manufacturers, and the painful but necessary plant closings. I would imagine at some point they are going to need to either invest in new production processes to meet the growing demand, or start to hire people again.

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I wonder if anyone here knows how the other member of the furniture big three is doing this year? :D

We're rocking and rolling but because we're private, and i'm just a lowly IT guy, I can't tell you the exact #'s. We're still in the middle of a HUGE renovation so things must be going ok

Here's a picture I found on the Web

post-3432-1158863257_thumb.jpg

post-3432-1158863257_thumb.jpg

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Alliance could add to medical device maker's growth

"We have a ton of intellectual talent and engineering talent" in Grand Rapids, she said. "There is so much knowledge and so much expertise launching products."

Family-owned ATEK Cos. entered the medical-device industry with the 2003 acquisition of the former Medtronic Cardiac Surgery in Grand Rapids.

Since the acquisition, ATEK's Grand Rapids-based medical-device business has grown from a work force of 175 to 245 people who produce some 1,400 different products at the company's Watson Street facility, southwest of downtown.

I didn't realize this company had grown so much since acquiring the former Medtronic cardiac equipment business.

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Dematic on a roll again

In the last 12 months, the company has seen solid growth in sales volume and profitability. At the close of its fiscal year last week, Dematic had one of its healthiest backlogs in years. It added over $400 million in new U.S. business in 2005...

One large customer, New York-based PepsiCo, was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal for its use of Dematic

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If you discount the layoffs and local perception, my father says Steelcase is on a roll.

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If you discount the layoffs and local perception, my father says Steelcase is on a roll.

Office Interiors Manufacturers in general are on a "roll" based on what I've read in Industry rags..

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Pureflex to add 225 new jobs (bottom of page)

The state also is expected to grant a $4.2 million tax credit to another Kentwood firm, PureFlex Inc., allowing it to expand into a new facility and create 225 jobs.

Pureflex, at 4617 East Paris Ave. SE, makes Teflon products, hoses and fittings, transmission rings and gaskets for the pharmaceutical, chemical and steel industries. - notice they don't supply the auto industry?

The Konica Minolta expansion was already talked about. Kentwood is looking to add almost 1000 jobs this year alone according to the Right Place Program.

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Other industries step up with jobs

When Grand Rapids Economic Development Director Susan Shannon looked for growth opportunities this year, the German-owned company came through with 50 new jobs paying an average of $15 an hour.

Paragon-Firstronic was among 15 manufacturers who invested in the city and qualified for tax incentives that will halve property taxes on their investments for the next 12 years.

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Global Forex among fastest growing tech companies - Deloitte Technology Fast500

Over the past five years:

647% revenue growth

154% employment growth in six offices worldwide

85% trading volume growth

One of three Michigan companies to make the list, and only one in West Michigan.

They should move out of Ada and into the old Cybernet building on Division.

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Global Forex among fastest growing tech companies - Deloitte Technology Fast500

Over the past five years:

647% revenue growth

154% employment growth in six offices worldwide

85% trading volume growth

One of three Michigan companies to make the list, and only one in West Michigan.

They should move out of Ada and into the old Cybernet building on Division.

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After looking for GRW's website I found this article from what apears to be a few years back. Here are the details from the article:

In other business, the IDA approved a change to a memorandum of understanding with GRW Technologies Inc. that extends the deadline for the company to employ at least 90 percent of the employees it originally agreed to hire.

GRW Technologies, which makes plastic auto parts on Independence Drive near the Winchester Regional Airport, agreed to hire 60 employees by the end of 2001. The company has about 30 employees now.

The change would require at least 54 employees by Dec. 31, 2002.

The company has basically met the requirement for investing $2.5 million in machinery and tools.

Gary Edwards, existing industry coordinator with the Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission, said the company has changed owners twice and has had three different presidents in two years.

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Here's a really interesting article from WZZM:

Auto plants are closing, jobs are leaving the state and Michigan's economy is sluggish at best.

Sound familiar? Well, it might not be that bad.

At least that's what a Chicago-based industrial research group says in a new study released Wednesday. It ranks Michigan as the third-best state in the nation for manufacturing. And several Lansing-area companies made its list of top manufacturers.

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Mercedes Benz Techology purchases Autodie

On Friday, managers told employees that MBtech Group, a German firm owned by auto giant DaimlerChrysler, was purchasing the parts maker. After closing for the weekend, it will reopen Monday as MBtech Autodie LLC.

That's a big relief for the 220 workers there. It sounds like they are going to establish a Renaissance Zone for Autodie. They might as well just expand and extend the current Monroe North Ren Zone.

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A good story is that of Foremost Insurance. While they are part of Farmers Group (out of CA) which is part of Zurich (out of Germany), Foremost had managed to not only retain its West Michigan employee base but has actually continued to grow. From offering more product lines to diversifying their client base, Foremost is a great example of a local company being bought and yet still retaining (if not increasing) its market presence in and around Grand Rapids.

A little fact about Foremost: They have one of the lowest attrition rates in the state as well as their industry, and that is including the typical high turnover rates in areas like customer service and administrative positions.

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