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  • Wolverine Worldwide Breaks Ground On New Big Rapids Manufacturing Plant Expansion

     Oct 12, 2016 ROCKFORD, Mich., Oct. 12, 2016 -- Wolverine Worldwide yesterday broke ground on a 16,000 square foot expansion to the company's Big Rapids manufacturing facility, adding a new raw materials receiving warehouse. Company leadership noted the support of Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-2nd District) and Rep. John Moolenaar (R-4th District) and the rest of the Michigan delegation, which has played a major role in adding more than 250 new jobs in the Big Rapids manufacturing plant over this past year. This expansion provides muchneeded additional capacity while creating opportunities for Wolverine to operate more efficiently. Wolverine Worldwide Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Blake W. Krueger said, "As a company, we are fortunate to have our Members of Congress here in West Michigan, Rep. Bill Huizenga and Rep. John Moolenaar, engaged and working hard to expand opportunities to create good-paying, American jobs. As evidence of their hard work and dedication to our region, our company again was able to host both Representatives to break ground on the first expansion project at our manufacturing facility." Krueger continued, "Rep. Huizenga and Rep. Moolenaar have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to their constituents by supporting initiatives to increase manufacturing opportunities that help grow our workforce in Michigan. We are grateful for their continued support in Washington and for making this growth opportunity a reality. We look forward to creating good paying manufacturing jobs in Big Rapids long into the future." Built in 1964, the Wolverine Worldwide Big Rapids manufacturing plant originally produced Wolverine and Hush Puppies branded footwear. Today, this 80,000 square foot facility produces Bates brand American-made footwear for the military as well as quality “Made in the U.S.A.” footwear for the Wolverine, HYTEST, and Merrell brands. As a sign of continued commitment to the local community and the workforce in Big Rapids, Wolverine will be expanding the facility by 16,000 square feet. This expansion will increase the level of quality that Bates Footwear provides to our armed service men and women while expanding the Wolverine footprint in Michigan. Wolverine Worldwide is targeting completion of the expansion work in early 2017.

  • Positive Economic Forecast for West Michigan in 2017 -  Positive Economic Forecast for West Michigan

     

  • Governor Snyder’s 2017 State of the State Message

    In his annual State of the State Address, Governor Rick Snyder highlighted the progress of reinventing Michigan and how the State has responded.  A copy of Michigan's Comeback by the Numbers can be found here.  Since taking office six years ago and promising to reinvent Michigan, he has led the comeback and created a job-friendly environment that is helping make our state a better place for all Michiganians. 

  • Nestlé Waters North America Announces $36 Million Expansion of Ice Mountain® Bottling Plant

    STANWOOD, MICH. — October 31, 2016 — Nestlé Waters North America today announced it is making a $36 million capital investment in its Ice Mountain® bottling operations in Stanwood, Michigan, creating some 20 new jobs.

    Nestlé Waters will add two new water bottling lines in the Stanwood plant to bottle Ice Mountain® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water and Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water products. The first new line is scheduled to begin operation in the spring of 2017. The second-line is currently planned for 2018. Products bottled in Stanwood are distributed to major retail and grocery customers throughout Michigan and the Midwest. Ice Mountain is the number-one selling bottled spring water brand in the Midwest.

    The Stanwood facility has produced Ice Mountain and Nestlé Pure Life products in Mecosta County for nearly 15 years and today employs more than 250 people. Area business leaders shared support for Ice Mountain’s announcement. “We are pleased to see Ice Mountain investing further in the success of our region,” said Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Heinzman. “The company is very involved in our local community, and we enjoy having their support for many charitable and community organizations.”

    “The expansion of our Stanwood facility is being driven by rising consumer demand for our trusted bottled water brands,” said Tim Brown, Chairman, President and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America. “As consumers focus on wellness they are drawn to healthy beverages and increasingly move away from sugary drinks, Ice Mountain’s popularity continues to grow. Michigan has been an outstanding location because of its high-quality, abundant, water resources. We look forward to a successful future there.”

    Construction on the building expansion kicked off in early October. The northwest side of the bottling plant will see about 80,000 square feet of production space added to the existing approximate 746,000 square-foot manufacturing, warehouse and logistics facility.

    “Ice Mountain prides itself on being an active member of the area community. The company’s decision to expand here in Stanwood signals our long-term commitment to the region, and we look forward to continued success in the years ahead,” said Nestlé Waters Stanwood Plant Manager Dave Sommer.

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    Mecosta County Receives Chamber of the Year Award

     

     

     

    Posted by Meghan Haas on October 28th, 2016

    ANN ARBOR — After a month of waiting, the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce was named the best chamber in the state on Thursday evening.

    The 2016 Outstanding Chamber of the Year awards in the small, medium and large chamber categories were presented during a ceremony at the University of Michigan “Big House” Stadium in Ann Arbor.

    “It was a fun event,” said Megan Eppley, chamber administrative assistant. “It was a dinner with members of the MACP. We got to tour the stadium and go down on the field. The event was a neat opportunity for us. It is a big honor for us to win.”

    The Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals previously narrowed 300 applicants for the small chamber award down to two finalists, Mecosta and Adrian. A small chamber is categorized as having an annual budget of less than $250,000.

    Finalists were required show innovation and effectiveness of programming in leadership and governance, finance, business advocacy, development of programming and membership development, according to a press release from the Mecosta County Chamber.

    Months ago, the local chamber official were asked if they wanted to try for this award, Jennifer Heinzman, executive director, said in a previous interview. Heinzman had to send MACP the last three years of financials, projects worked on in the last year, current projects of the chamber, board minutes and the strategic plan.

    “It is a pleasure to work in a community with so many active participants,” Heinzman said in the release. “We have an amazing staff, board of directors and countless volunteers. It is because of them that this is possible. It is such an honor. I am proud to accept this award on their behalf.”

    The chamber has 388 active members and focuses on helping members of the business and professional community to accomplish more collectively.

    “There are a lot of benefits to being a member,” Eppley said. “We help with networking and are a kind of support system to help business.”

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    Builder with Plans

    Mecosta County Means Jobs!

    Not only is Mecosta County a great place to recreate, live, and raise a family, it is also a great place to work and grow your business.  This fact was once again demonstrated in late 20014-15 when two major employers, Haworth Corporation and Wolverine World Wide, both announced plans to expand their workforce at their Big Rapids locations.

    As a result, the communities of Holland and Big Rapids anticipate a total of 649 new jobs over the next five years; an estimated 112 of those jobs are projected to come to Haworth’s Big Rapids Components facility during that same timeframe.  For Wolverine World Wide, an expansion of the Big Rapids facility allows for more on site storage of materials and more room for machines and people.  The estimated 100 new jobs are expected to be created.  Applying Mecosta County’s employment multiplier of 1.89 to these numbers (as established independently by Montgomery Consulting), the total direct and indirect jobs to be created over the next three to five years is 752 across all sectors of the county economy.  In an era when employers are facing the challenge of attracting good talent, this is good news indeed for Mecosta County!

    The Mecosta County Development Corporation is proud to have been part of the decision by these companies to expand in their Big Rapids facilities.  Community members, staff, and state representatives spent the past year meeting with company officials and offering an incentive package that played a part in their decision to relocate and expand locally.  Officials from both companies cited the quality and flexibility of their workforces as another factor driving their decision.  Why not treat your company to an environment that is home to the fastest growing public university in the state, an available and well-trained workforce which focuses on quality production, and a business-friendly environment?  For more information, contact the Mecosta County Development Corporation at 231-592-3403, or by e-mail at jsandy@co.mecosta.mi.us  We would love to have you join our community!