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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 » News

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MMA announces Eagle Group and Anderson Global as "Manufacturers of the Year."

 

Four Muskegon-area entrepreneurs receive statewide recognition for company innovations

Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 10:04 AM Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 11:18 AM

Dave Alexander | 
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 </script> By Dave Alexander | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it The Muskegon Chronicle

MUSKEGON, MI – Four Muskegon-area entrepreneurs were recently recognized by the Michigan Manufacturers Association as their companies helped lead West Michigan’s industrial turnaround.

EmergeLogo.jpg

The recognitions were part of the 2012 Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Awards. The local award winners are role models for all area entrepreneurs, according to Suzanne Velarde of the e-merge Entrepreneur Network of West Michigan.

Large tier company award finalists were Steve Moorland, president of Automatic Spring Products Corp. in Grand Haven and Mark Fazakerley and John Workman, president and vice president respectively of Eagle Alloy and the Eagle Group of Muskegon. The small tier company finalist was John McIntyre, president of Anderson Global in Muskegon Heights.

Fazakerley and Workman were jointly recognized for their company’s ability to find innovative solutions for never-ending changes in the foundry industry. The Eagle Group includes three foundries and a machine shop.

MMA officials said that productivity improvements and cost-cutting measures during the Great Recession put the company in position to take advantage of the economic turnaround as their competitors went out of business and products have been “re-shored” from Mexico and China back to the Eagle Group companies. The Eagle Group employs nearly 500 workers and is in an expansion mode at its Egelston Township facilities.

Automatic Spring Products had three of its top five customers file for bankruptcy during the past recession, two of them as the company was completing construction of a new 53,000-square-foot facility, MMA officials said.

Continuous improvement, lean manufacturing and successful strategic planning brought the company under Moorland’s leadership through the economic downturn, MMA officials said. Now employment is up 130 percent as the company has introduced at least one new product for the last six years. The company employs 270.

Finally, McIntyre’s story at Anderson Global is similar. The tool and die company has diversified its customers as it has used advanced manufacturing techniques, employee empowerment programs, and community involvement to expand the business. McIntyre brought together an investment group that purchased an older manufacturing plant with a dwindling customer base and aging workforce, MMA officials note.

A new labor agreement and investment in computers, machinery and equipment allowed for the historic automation of a “skilled trade” creating a culture of knowledge workers. The company has gone from 45 employees before the Great Recession to 140 today, while 60 percent of its products are shipped to customers outside of the United States.

The e-merge Entrepreneur Network is a community-based initiative that supports job growth in the Lakeshore region bringing together more than 20 organizations designed to encourage and support business owners and those wanting to start businesses.

 

 

 

   

Porty City Group receives $540,000 award from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.






alt Four West Michigan
Businesses Receive State Support to Expand, Add Jobs
5/24/2012 11:30:00 PM - MFRTech.comArticle
#27821

LANSING – The
Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced Michigan Strategic
Fund approval of Michigan Business Development Program incentives for four West
Michigan businesses that are expected to generate up to $15.7 million in new
private investment and add 465 new jobs.

“These four companies, all
located in West Michigan, are demonstrating that Michigan can compete with any
state in the country as a great place to grow their businesses,” said Michael A.
Finney, MEDC President and CEO. “These new investments show once more Michigan’s
highly competitive business climate and tremendous workforce capabilities mean
real opportunities for leading edge companies.”

Center
Manufacturing
is a metal stamping company serving the commercial
vehicle, power sports, agricultural and industrial markets. Center Manufacturing
has won new contracts with Honda Power Sports and plans to invest up to $1.02
million to expand its Byron Township operations. Center Manufacturing expects
the project to create 80 new jobs, resulting in a $300,000 Michigan Business
Development Program incentive. Center Manufacturing was chosen for the contracts
over competition in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Byron Township
has offered support to the project in the form of tax
abatement.

Huntington Foam LLC, a custom foam shape
molder for the appliance, plumbing, furniture, electronics and automotive
industries, has received a $340,000 Michigan Business Development Program
incentive to expand its current facility in the City of Greenville. Huntington
Foam proposes to invest up to $2.56 million and create 30 new jobs as a result
of the project. Michigan was chosen over neighboring states that were courting
Huntington Foam over the last six months. The City of Greenville has offered
support in the form of a 12 year property tax abatement to the project.


MedDirect, Inc., a Grand Rapids-based patient customer service
and patient pay accounts receivable management company, was approved to receive
a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program incentive to open a new
facility in the City of Grand Rapids. MedDirect proposes to invest up to $2.1
million and create up to 300 new jobs over the next three years. Michigan was
chosen over sites in Ohio and Illinois.  The City of Grand Rapids has offered
support in the form of a seven-year personal property tax abatement to the
project.

Muskegon Castings Corporation, a member of the
Port City Group of companies, manufactures aluminum die castings, zinc die
castings, plastic injection molding, and provides tool and die design and
production, aluminum recycling and smelting, and LED lighting and assemblies.
Muskegon Casting has received a $540,000 incentive to expand its existing
Michigan operations by establishing a new facility in the City of Muskegon.
Muskegon Castings proposes to invest up to $10 million, resulting in the
creation of 55 new jobs. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Indiana.
The City of Muskegon has offered support to the project in the form of a 12-year
tax abatement.

Also today, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a
$1.6 million Michigan Business Development Program incentive for
Amway to build a new facility in Ada Township, a project that
will generate up to $80.95 million in new private investment and add up to 200
new jobs.

Signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in December, the
Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic
assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in
Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance
for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing.

The MSF will
consider a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state
competition, private investment in the project, business diversification
opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs,
and net-positive return to the state. Business retention and retail projects are
not eligible for consideration of these incentives.

The Michigan Business
Development Program replaces the state’s previous MEGA program that was a
feature of the Michigan Business Tax that was eliminated under business tax
restructuring legislation approved and signed into law by Snyder in May 2011.
The Michigan Business Development Program and Michigan Community Revitalization
Program are MEDC Business Attraction and Economic Gardening programs, supported
by the MSF state general fund appropriation.

   

Webb Chemical plans job-creating expansion; Muskegon Heights creates rehab district

 

Webb Chemical plans job-creating expansion; Muskegon Heights creates rehab district
Published: Sunday, May 06, 2012, 2:54 PM
WEBBC.JPG

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – Webb Chemical, an industrial chemical-mixing and resale business, is expanding its operations and Muskegon Heights city officials are ready to help make it happen.

Webb Chemical, 2708 Jarman, is planning a $4 million expansion over the next four years. Company officials are kicking off that larger goal with a $750,000 phase-one development, featuring a tank farm and other equipment.

Muskegon Heights recently established a new development district that may help spur that large expansion project. City Council members approved a Plant Rehabilitation Industrial Development District, a designation that allows Webb Chemical to seek a tax break for the expansion.

Brad Hilleary, CEO and owner of Webb Chemical, said the expansion project will create additional jobs. The company currently has 68 employees, plus 14 temporary workers. Hilleary said employment has grown by 23 over the last 18 months and he expects employment to grow by 10-15 with the expansion.

Muskegon Area First CEO/President Ed Garner called the expansion project a “good endeavor” and said the company is looking at potentially incentives from local and state government.

The tank farm, part of the first phase, is used to store the large quantities of chemicals that are brought in by rail or tanker truck.

Webb Chemical is a full-service chemical distributor in the Great Lakes area.

Webb Chemical has storage capacity of over 120,000 gallons of organic and inorganic chemicals. Its facility features more than 80,000 square feet of warehouse storage for liquid and dry chemicals.

Eric Gaertner covers government, politics and the outdoors. He can be reached via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Follow him on Twitter @EricGaertner1.

   

Aero Foil International receives city of Muskegon tax abatements for expansion

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 8:25 PM Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 8:27 PM

Dave Alexander | 
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MUSKEGON, MI – A home-grown machine shop continues growing with the industrial property tax abatement support of the city of Muskegon.

AFILogo.jpg

Air Foil International Inc. Tuesday received two separate tax abatements for equipment purchases for its AFI Machining and AFI Hole Drill operations at 1929 Port City Blvd.

The $1.7 million investment will create four jobs but the company has plans to expand its current workforce of 34 to 75 or 80 in the next three to five years, according to Jim Kutches – son of AFI President Steve Kutches.

The company was founded in 2004 to serve the machining needs of the makers of jet engines and land-based gas turbines. The company was before the Muskegon City Commission in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession for tax abatements on a $1.8 million investment that created six jobs.

The current request, approved unanimously by commissioners Tuesday, was for a six-year, 50 percent tax abatement on $1.1 million in personal property for AFI Machining. AFI Hole Drill received a six-year, 50 percent tax abatement for personal property valued at $599,800.

The company will realize annual tax savings over the course of the year estimated at $19,260. The local taxing units will still receive an estimated $14,260 annually in new taxes, according to city officials. The four jobs will generate another $640 in new city income taxes, they said.

The company has historically done work for Alcoa Howmet Castings in Whitehall, makers of turbine blades and vanes for jet engines for the aerospace industry. AFI also has had contracts with turbine engine makers General Electric, Rolls Royce, Siemens and Pratt & Whitney, company officials have said.

AFI has been a member of the state tool and die low-tax “renaissance zone,” receiving assistance that has led to its expansions, Steve Kutches has said. The Muskegon Tooling Alliance of Western Michigan is a group of seven area industrial companies which have banded together to support each other’s business and gain the low-tax benefits of the state RenZone.

   

College student job-seekers check out Muskegon and Grand Haven

Published: Friday, April 13, 2012, 4:48 PM Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012, 4:52 PM

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MUSKEGON, MI – Western Michigan University master of business administration students Jerry Juergens and Joanna Randazzo are intrigued by West Michigan’s Lakeshore communities.Both were on the state of Michigan’s “college student tour” of Muskegon and Grand Haven on Friday, as more than 30 Lakeshore employers had a job fair for young, skilled workers looking for jobs.


The idea for the students and job seekers was to find a company and a position that was a good fit in a community from which they could launch their careers. Student participants were recruited from Michigan universities.


For economic developers and community promoters in Grand Haven and Muskegon, the Pure Michigan Talent Connect event allowed local companies to find new, skilled talent to fill current and future job openings.


“It’s all about talent,” said Ed Garner, president of Muskegon Area First – the local economic development agency. “These folks here are the bright minds of our future. We want them to know about the opportunities in their own back yard.”


The event through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. that brought nearly 100 job seekers to town was not all about filling jobs but exciting young talent workers of the future about Muskegon and Grand Haven.


The tourism promotion agencies in Muskegon and Grand Haven gave a tour of downtown Muskegon, Pere Marquette Beach and downtown Grand Haven. The community familiarization tour began with lunch at the Lake House in Muskegon and ended with a reception at the Kirby Grill in Grand Haven.


“The live and play component of this event is important,” said Nancy Manglos, training services manager for The Chamber in Grand Haven. “We want to show what we have along the Lakeshore. We need to show the whole package to these folks – live, work and play.”


Many of the out-of-town students visiting Muskegon and Grand Haven Friday left with an initial favorable impression of the Lakeshore communities.


“It’s very pretty here,” Juergens said of the Muskegon Lake setting of the Grand Valley State University energy center where the companies and the job seekers mingled.


Juergens is from Elmore, Ohio, and has a business degree from Bowling Green University. After his master’s in business administration degree is completed next spring, he said he is looking for a job as a change management consultant.


The job will eventually dictate where he starts his career, Juergens said. But if given a choice, he said he is looking for a medium-sized community somewhere in between his rural Ohio home and a large metro area. A town like Muskegon or Kalamazoo would be a comfortable place to begin his business career, he said.


Randazzo said when looking for a community in which to settle, activities, events and people her age would be important factors. From Atlanta, she has a business management degree from the University of Georgia and after receiving her MBA from Western Michigan University next year she’d like to pursue a career in small business development or non-profit agency management.


“I think I’d like this location,” Randazzo said. “Living near the beach would be good.”


The companies that participated in the Pure Michigan Talent Connect included Light Corp. and Media One of Grand Haven; Mercy Health, and ADAC Plastics of Muskegon; and MasterTag and Alcoa Howmet of Whitehall. All participating companies had immediate openings or specific new hires in the next six months, Gardner said.


ADAC Plastics has a major manufacturing operation in Muskegon, making painting and assembling parts for the automotive industry. The Grand Rapids-based company has a major paint line expansion with a need from 50 to 130 new employees through 2013, according to company Vice President Peter Hungerford.


“We sometimes have a difficult time finding the right talent and with our expansion we need to get our name out there,” Hungerford said of needing everything from production workers to engineers and business managers. “A university degree is not always necessary but certified technical skills are. We need people with math, statistics and problem-solving skills.”


The job fair was set up with specific rooms for initial job interviews as several companies were sitting down and talking to the job seekers. Gardner said one highly-sought applicant was offered two jobs before the afternoon session was concluded.


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