1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to footer
Economic Development Since 1999 Contact Us
Alcoa

Alcoa Howmet – Whitehall, Michigan

Advanced manufacturing providing optimized solutions for improved performance, efficiency and value

Eagle Alloy

Eagle Alloy, Inc. – Part of the Eagle Group of companies - Muskegon, Michigan

Serving a diverse customer base and utilizing lean manufacturing practices; one of the premier steel foundries in the country

Alcoa

Alcoa Howmet – Whitehall, Michigan

A commitment to environmental sustainability; keeping the health and safety of their employees, customers and communities a top priority

Culinary Institute

Muskegon Area First: Helping Local Businesses Flourish

The Culinary Institute of Michigan - Baker College's world-class caliber culinary learning environment

Alcoa

Alcoa Howmet – Whitehall, Michigan since 1951

Leading producer of complex investment-cast turbine components for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries

Home » Community Resources » News

News

The Port City Group to expand in Muskegon as auto parts manufacturer continues to grow

Published: Friday, April 13, 2012, 1:12 PM Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012, 1:17 PM

Dave Alexander | 
 <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 var prefix = 'mailto:';
 var suffix = '';
 var attribs = '';
 var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '=';
 var addy2067 = 'dalexan1' + '@';
 addy2067 = addy2067 + 'mlive' + '.' + 'com';
 document.write( '<a ' + path + '\'' + prefix + addy2067 + suffix + '\'' + attribs + '>' );
 document.write( addy2067 );
 document.write( '<\/a>' );
 //-->
 </script><script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 document.write( '<span style=\'display: none;\'>' );
 //-->
 </script>This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 document.write( '</' );
 document.write( 'span>' );
 //-->
 </script>

 

MUSKEGON, MI – The Port City Group has quietly been an economic development engine helping bring the Muskegon area back from the depths of the recession.

6059883595_c4f45f5a41_b.jpgMelter operator Carl Welburn works in the Port City Group's foundry operations in its Port City Casting Corporation division.

The predominantly auto parts manufacturer with operations in the cities of Muskegon and Norton Shores is in the expansion mode. The Muskegon Planning Commission this week unanimously approved a site plan for a nearly $500,000 warehouse expansion at 2325 Sheridan in the city’s Port City Industrial Park.

The addition of 13,849-square-feet will lead to 15 new jobs and support the company’s new work producing engine parts for the Subaru Motors assembly plant in Lafayette, Ind., according to plant manager Shawn Norwood. The expansion is to the company’s Muskegon Casting Corporation division.

The new industrial addition to the Port City Group operations will be constructed by Hughes Builders of Muskegon. The new building will connect two existing industrial buildings of 35,300 and 12,500 square feet respectively, city planning officials said.

“We have been seeing a strong comeback in the industrial sector over the past year,” said Ed Garner, president of Muskegon Area First – the local economic development agency. “That growth is continuing this year.”

The Port City Group is one of those Muskegon-area manufacturers which was stung by the Great Recession but held on through the lean years of 2008 and 2009 to come back strong. The company received federal loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural development division during a time when traditional financing was not available.

The company joins the likes of Eagle Alloy, GE Aviation and Anderson Global among others leading the Muskegon County industrial economy today.

“They are doing extremely well right now,” Garner said. “They are back to full employment from before the recession and they are in the hiring mode.”

Garner said that Port City Group’s resurgence testifies to the turnaround in the domestic auto industry, not only in the Detroit Three but also in the foreign automakers’ operations in North America such as Subaru.

6059875669_f55e09938b_b.jpgThis is an automated precision robotic machining operation at Port City Group's Port City Castings Corporation that manufactures high-pressure aluminum die-castings, mostly for the automotive industry.

The Port City Group has other expansion plans in the works, Garner said. The company is in line to share in the new $100 million economic and community development fund set up by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. under Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration, Garner said.

An expected grant or loan award to Port City Group is pending before the state’s Strategic Fund Board to support ongoing training and equipment upgrades, Garner said. The state assistance would go toward a new company initiative outside of its core automobile business, Garner said.

Port City Group President John Essex was unavailable to speak about his company’s future developments.

Garner said that the Port City Group is expected to seek industrial tax abatements for its expansion plans but have not applied for those property tax incentives with the city yet.

The Port City Group is historically an aluminum die cast manufacturer, but has grown to include seven separate companies in the Muskegon area. The group also has capabilities in zinc die casting, mechanical assemblies, machining, plastic injection molding, tooling and prototyping. The company also has the ability to produce stainless steel and titanium parts for the medical device industry, according to the company’s website.

The most recent employment statistics from Muskegon Area First showed the Port City Group had nearly 500 workers, making it the fifth largest manufacturer in Muskegon County and the 10th largest employer overall.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Facebook: Dave Alexander

   

Whitehall wins chance to be featured on TV program of best places to live

 

Whitehall wins chance to be featured on TV program of best places to live

 

Published: Thursday, April 05, 2012, 1:05 PM Updated: Thursday, April 05, 2012, 1:18 PM    
Megan Hart | 
 <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 var prefix = 'mailto:';
 var suffix = '';
 var attribs = '';
 var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '=';
 var addy37640 = 'mhart2' + '@';
 addy37640 = addy37640 + 'mlive' + '.' + 'com';
 document.write( '<a ' + path + '\'' + prefix + addy37640 + suffix + '\'' + attribs + '>' );
 document.write( addy37640 );
 document.write( '<\/a>' );
 //-->
 </script><script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 document.write( '<span style=\'display: none;\'>' );
 //-->
 </script>This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 document.write( '</' );
 document.write( 'span>' );
 //-->
 </script> By Megan Hart | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it The Muskegon Chronicle
M0521COLBYSTREET.JPG    Kendra Stanley-Mills | MLive.comWhitehall is one of the best places in America to live, work and play, at least according to one TV program. This file photo shows downtown Whitehall on Colby Street in 2011.

 

Whitehall was chosen for a TV program highlighting the best places to live, work and play, City Manager Scott Huebler confirmed Thursday afternoon.Kendra Stanley-Mills | MLive.comWhitehall is one of the best places in America to live, work and play, at least according to one TV program. This file photo shows downtown Whitehall on Colby Street in 2011.

Huebler said he hadn't received details about when a film crew might arrive, and the city attorney will still have to look over a contract before the city commits to the project.

Whitehall was named as a
finalist for a "discover America" segment on Viewpoints, a program hosted by sports announcer and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

If the contract is in order, Bradshaw and a film crew will come to put together a five-minute segment to air once on the Discovery Channel and be shown at least in part 19 times on CNN, Huebler said.

A producer who interviewed Whitehall Mayor Mac Hatch earlier this week estimated $19,800 in costs to the city, to prove it is committed to working with the film crew, Huebler said. He said he expects that money would be offset by increased tourism from people who see the segment.


 

 
   

NOAA expanding Western Michigan Lab in Muskegon.

April 5, 2012, 9:46 a.m. EDT      The Muskegon Chronicle

 

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration operates its fleet of 20 Great Lakes vessels out of Muskegon without much fanfare.

But NOAA's maritime operation is about to take on a higher profile with an expansion of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory on the Muskegon Channel.

The vessel maintenance and operation building and its equipment are going through a nearly $1 million upgrade and will become NOAA's national showcase for its Green Ship initiative. The upgrade is expected to be done by early fall.

Once completed, the marine operations building will have new offices and areas for training along with space for engineering and maintenance operations. The building will house the Green Ship initiative that was started in Muskegon and expanded with NOAA and other federal government marine operations.

The Green Ship program converts all shipboard systems to biofuels and bio-lubricants.

"With this investment and expansion, we will have a facility that will match the engineering requirements of our work load here in Muskegon," NOAA Marine Superintendent Dennis Donahue said. "There needs to be a place and a facility for people to go to concerning our Green Ship program. We will have space for research and development, testing and conferences."

The marine facility will be constructed in a way that will match the historic look of the main Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory building, a former U.S. Coast Guard station.The facility will grow to about 3,000 square feet. That does not include an adjacent, 1,400-square-foot storage facility.

It will have several "green" elements including restoration of the beach environment, three different types of wind turbines, solar cells and a rain run-off filtration system. The alternative energy systems will produce about a third of the facility's electrical needs, Donahue said.

Maritime officials and ship crews from other federal agencies also will be using the facility.

Part of the marine facility expansion is the placement of bio-fuel storage tanks on site with a design that protects against spills. NOAA will have the ability to store up to 9,000 gallons of fuel.

"Our program is all about minimizing vessel impact on the environment," Donahue said.

NOAA's Great Lakes fleet is led by the 80-foot research vessel the Laurentian, a former University of Michigan research ship. The Muskegon-based vessel will be spending a good deal of the upcoming boating season in Lake Huron as NOAA replicates its Lake Michigan monitoring and research efforts to the east.

Muskegon is also home to a 55-foot NOAA work boat.  Besides ship operations, the NOAA facility in Muskegon is a biological research station for Lake Michigan. The agency with regional research headquarters in Ann Arbor has had a Lake Michigan monitoring program ongoing for the past two decades.

NOAA has 20 employees year-round in Muskegon between environmental research and ship operations.

Information from: The Muskegon Chronicle, http://www.mlive.com/muskegon

   

Young talent asked to explore Lakeshore for future employment in Muskegon and Grand Haven

Published: Monday, April 02, 2012, 4:27 PM

Dave Alexander | 
 <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 var prefix = 'mailto:';
 var suffix = '';
 var attribs = '';
 var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '=';
 var addy43349 = 'dalexan1' + '@';
 addy43349 = addy43349 + 'mlive' + '.' + 'com';
 document.write( '<a ' + path + '\'' + prefix + addy43349 + suffix + '\'' + attribs + '>' );
 document.write( addy43349 );
 document.write( '<\/a>' );
 //-->
 </script><script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 document.write( '<span style=\'display: none;\'>' );
 //-->
 </script>This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 <script language='JavaScript' type='text/javascript'>
 <!--
 document.write( '</' );
 document.write( 'span>' );
 //-->
 </script>

MUSKEGON, MI – The college “road trip” April 13 is destined for Muskegon and Grand Haven for a regional talent search.

PureMichiganTalent.jpg

The Pure Michigan Talent Connect initiative in conjunction with two Lakeshore development agencies are inviting college students and any young, skilled professional looking for employment in Muskegon and Grand Haven to a community familiarization and job fair event.

Michigan’s Lakeshore region has joined with the state to bring the perspective workers here for the day-long event. Buses will be provided students coming from Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Michigan State University in East Lansing among other state universities.

The flier for the event asks the students and other high-end job seekers to visit two communities that are “home to innovative companies, cutting-edge entrepreneurs and hundreds of new job opportunities. Michigan’s West Coast Region has much to offer top-notch talent, including college students.”

Then state and local officials will show off Lake Michigan and the natural features available along the Lakeshore. The event is being hosted locally by Muskegon Area First, the local economic development agency, and The Chamber in Grand Haven.

The companies participating in the event all have job openings available now or will have in the next six months, organizers said. Major Lakeshore employers that are part of the event are Huntington National Bank, Mercy Health Partners, Alcoa-Howmet, ADAC Plastics, Master Tag and Herman Miller. The event is for those wanting careers in technology, health care, business services and advanced manufacturing companies.

The buses from the colleges will arrive before an 11 a.m. welcome and luncheon at the Lake House Waterfront Grille on Muskegon Lake in downtown Muskegon. The career networking event will be from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the adjacent Grand Valley State University Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center.

The focus of the event is to introduce the students and skilled professionals to the opportunities to “live, work and play” in the Lakeshore region. The state worked with economic developers in Holland and Detroit to stage similar regional recruitment events earlier this year.

From MAREC, a bus tour will show participants the Muskegon and Grand Haven areas. The tour will end in downtown Grand Haven at 4:45 p.m.

The event will wrap up with a reception at the Kirby House from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Bus transportation back to the campuses will leave from Grand Haven.

Those not wanting to use the provided bus service can arrive on their own at the Lake House, 730 Terrace Point in Muskegon or at the Kirby House, 2 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven.

The cost of the event for the participants is $15 with an early bird $5 registration available through April 9. Registration must be done on line at www.regonline.com/pureopportunitywestcoast.

Students and job seekers are asked to upload their resumes during the registration process. Great Lakes Ford and the Lake House have provided an Apple iPad to be given away at the end of the event at the Kirby House reception.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Facebook: Dave Alexander


 


alt

 

 

   

GVSU alternative energy center director Arn Boezaart among Michigan 'green' leaders

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012, 6:46 PM

 

MUSKEGON – Think of Arn Boezaart’s acceptance of the 2012 Michigan Green Leaders Award as a quarterback getting most valuable player recognition for a football team.

North Muskegon students visit research buoyChronicle file photo

Arn Boezaart, director of Grand Valley State University's Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, left, talks with physics students from North Muskegon High School visiting the GVSU wind reseach platform when it was in Muskegon Lake last fall.

The quarterback honors the offensive line for blocking and the wide receivers for catching his passes. The individual award is actually a team award, the quarterback argues.

The same is with Boezaart, the director of Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon. He was among three individuals selected for the statewide recognition by The Detroit Free Press.

“It’s all about ‘we,’” Boezaart said. “I just try to connect the dots at MAREC. I try to identify the resources and the partners to bring it about as a whole.”

Boezaart was named as an individual winner of the 2012 Michigan Green Leaders awards along with Anne Woiwode of the Sierra Club and Matthew Grocoff, founder of the website www.greeninovation.tv that helps homeowners make their houses more efficient in the use of energy, water and the disposal of waste.

This is not the first time the Detroit newspaper has looked toward Muskegon to honor environmental leaders. Last year Muskegon environmental activist Theresa Bernhardt was honored for work on Ruddiman Creek in her Glenside Neighborhood while Norton Shores-based Nichols – a paper, packaging and janitorial supply company – was honored for its focus on sustainable business practices.

Boezaart has headed the alternative energy center on Muskegon Lake since 2009. MAREC has focused on public outreach and community education on energy issues, economic development activities for West Michigan energy-related businesses, public energy policy development and advancing commercial wind energy and battery storage technologies.

Boezaart was appointed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm to serve on the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council, which made legislative recommendations on the controversial subject of putting utility-scale wind turbines on the Great Lakes. MAREC also used a federal energy grant to put a research consortium together that has constructed and launched a wind research platform for Lake Michigan.

arn-boezaart.jpgArn Boezaart

“This award isn’t about me but it is a great opportunity to showcase GVSU’s involvement in green activities,” Boezaart said. “It also showcases the work being done here in Muskegon. It is positive recognition for the region and the community.”

Boezaart has focused his “second career” on environmental and energy issues after working 25 years for the Michigan Department of Human Services in Muskegon County, managing children, youth and adult services. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public administration and social work from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

After an early retirement from the state, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County hired Boezaart in 1997 to create an environmental program for the foundation. His work included establishing watershed initiatives for the Muskegon River, Muskegon and White lakes that included citizen groups, foundation endowments and educational and cleanup projects.

Boezaart became interested in alternative energy while at the foundation with the placement of a small wind turbine on the Frauenthal Theater roof.

At MAREC, the job has been all about establishing partnerships among the university community, West Michigan leaders, statewide energy organizations and the business community, Boezaart said.

The 2012 Green Leaders will be honored at an awards breakfast April 27 at the MGM Grand in downtown Detroit. Besides individuals, environmental awards will be presented to businesses, non-profits, public agencies along with special awards for automotive innovations and youth leadership.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

   

Page 25 of 29