3 companies bringing 446 jobs to W. MI

INglass and NOVO 1 are two of three companies coming to or expanding in West Michigan. (Courtesy images - April 30, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Three businesses are expected to bring 446 new jobs to West Michigan, an economic development organization announced Wednesday.

All together, INglass, NOVO 1, Inc. and Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch are expected to invest $52.1 million in West Michigan over the next four years, according to The Right Place, Inc.

“You have very, very different companies in very different areas. But they all come here because it’s a good business climate, the industries they’re in are growing and we have the workforce that they need,” The Right Place President and CEO Birgit Klohs said.

In Kent County, Italy-based INglass will build a new facility at 720 74th Street SW in Byron Center, which it recently contracted to buy. The facility will house INglass’s HRSflow division, manufacturing hot runner systems for plastic injection molding and employing 109 people over the next four years, according to The Right Place.

A diagram showing INglass's glazing technology. (Courtesy - April 30, 2014)
(A diagram showing INglass’s glazing technology. Courtesy – April 30, 2014)

The company received a $4.52 million incentive package — including a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP) approved Wednesday — and is expected to invest $17.6 million in capital in West Michigan.

INglass also represent one of the fastest growing industries in West Michigan: Manufacturing.

“It brings back bad memories because people believe manufacturing today is what is was 10 years ago. It isn’t even what it was five years ago. Manufacturing today is for smart, well-educated people,” Klohs said.

The Right Place is focusing on adding jobs in five industries including agriculture and food processing, life sciences and biotech, technology and communications, commercial design and smart manufacturing.

“Manufacturing today is a very high-tech business. With very, very computer-oriented, design-oriented, prototype-oriented kind of jobs. So its growing very, very nicely,” Klohs said.

Klohs said because of those changes, manufacturing is also paying higher wages.

NOVO 1, Inc. is expected to invest $1.5 million in a call center located at 2905 Lucerne SE in Cascade Township, providing 287 jobs over the next three years, The Right Place said.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company already has 500 employees at a call center in Holland that opened in 2010. It says it needs more space and workers to meet its clients’ needs.

Cascade Township competed against 23 other sites across the country for the call center and was eventually chosen over a Texas location, The Right Place said.
NOVO 1 received a $550,000 MBDP grant Wednesday.

Anyone interested in a job at NOVO 1 should call 616.834.9700 or go to NOVO 1′s website and click on “careers,” then look under “Holland, Michigan.

In Ionia County, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch has planned a $33 million expansion in its hometown of Saranac that is expected to open 50 new jobs over the next three years, The Right Place said.

Part of the expansion includes a $1.5 million investment in a new public main sewer line. Though Herbruck’s will pay for and manage that line, other companies along it will be able to tap into it. The Right Places says that could encourage additional growth in the area.

The Lakewood Wastewater Authority is waiving its sanitary sewer connection fee of $405,000 to support the construction.

Herbruck’s also received a $500,000 MBDP grant to aid in its expansion.

Klohs said that while West Michigan is making good progress in many areas there is at least one area where it needs help:

“I think we have a serious talent shortage in the skilled trade. We need to make sure we interest young people in, maybe not necessarily a four-year degree, but a two-year degree from the community colleges that are here. Because there are really really good jobs to be had in technical fields,” she said.




NOVO 1, Inc.

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