The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced approval of incentives for three business expansion projects and two other community development projects.
The Michigan Strategic Fund approval for these projects supports the creation of 218 jobs and brings more than $24.3 million in investments to Michigan.
One of the three expansion projects is being undertaken by the Irwin Seating Company in the City of Walker, MI. The company specializes in manufacturing public seating for venues such as convention centers, arenas, auditoriums and movie theatres.
Irwin has two manufacturing facilities in North America – a seating division in Walker, MI and a telescopic platform and bleachers division in Altamont, IL. The company picked the Walker facility over a competing site in Mississippi for manufacturing a new recliner product for the cinema market.
They’re going to invest $1.9 million to repurpose 50,000 square feet of space in the Walker facility and provide training for new employees who must have specialized skills to handle the complex nature of the work.
This state is supporting the investment and the 60 new jobs being created by providing a $300,000 performance-based grant through the Michigan Business Development Program. The company already has more than 400 employees, of which 287 are located at the Walker facility.
The City of Walker is additionally considering approving a tax abatement to support the expansion. This project was assisted by West Michigan’s regional non-profit economic development organization The Right Place, Inc.
Win Irwin, President and CEO, Irwin Seating Company, said in a release announcing the expansion that the company was built in West Michigan and they are proud to be reinvesting in the community that has grown with them.
“We are particularly grateful that the Right Place and the State of Michigan were willing to partner with us on this exciting opportunity,” said Irwin.
The other two expansion projects that received MSF approval are automotive companies. Plymouth, MI-based LOC Performance Products, Inc., which manufactures driveline and suspension systems, is investing $12.1 million at its facility in Plymouth Charter Township and creating 95 jobs. LOC is getting a $600,000 MBD grant and additional property tax abatements from the Township.
NHK International Corporation, a subsidiary of Japanese suspension springs manufacturer NHK Spring Co., Ltd., is investing $9 million to purchase a building in the City of Novi, MI for its headquarters and R&D center.
The company will be creating 26 new automotive research and engineering jobs as part of the headquarters relocation and expansion project. NHK is getting a $150,000 MBD grant, and the City of Novi is further supporting the project by providing funding for permit fees.
Two other community development projects received approval for CDBG funding. Neuvokas Corporation’s expansion project in the Township of Allouez received $275,000 in CDBG funds for on-the-job training for new employees. The company is investing $1.3 million and creating 31 new jobs as part of an expansion.
The other project community development project is the Harrietta Hills Trout Farm expansion in Slagle Township. Wexford County was provided $210,000 in CDBG funding for this project, and the company is getting it as a working capital loan that will help them grow and create six new jobs.
Michigan Economic Development Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Arwood said in an MEDC release that the commitment of these companies to grow and create jobs in the state demonstrates the significance of Michigan’s greatly improved business climate and infrastructure.