The Right Place

Tech Defenders logo
Tech Defenders

A Grand Rapids-based information technology firm is investing millions and creating more than 100 jobs.

Tech Defenders primary business is repairing and extending the life span of classroom mobile devices provided to students by school districts. In a news release its more clearly defines the larger operation as “providing lifecycle solutions for large scale technology deployments.”

Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place
The Right Place

The annual Mackinac Policy Conference has come to close. During last week’s program a discussion about the state’s preparation for future economic growth.

What are the elements for economic development?

“The bedrock is really three things: Workforce talent, infrastructure and a quality of life. Okay, those are the bedrocks.”

Birgit Klohs is CEO of regional non-profit economic development organization, The Right Place.

Ventra Ionia logo
The Right Place

A West Michigan auto parts supplier is making a multi-million dollar expansion in Ionia creating more than 100 jobs. Ventra Ionia is an automotive supply chain manufacturer with an immediate need to expand.

Working with Ford Motor Company it’s responsible for the new Ranger bumper program. Manufacturing the bumper entails assembly, paint and/or chrome finishing. Venture Ionia will need new space for this. Next door to its City of Ionia location is a nearly 49,000 square foot existing facility.

GRIMM logo
GRIMM

A Veteran-owned cybersecurity company is expanding into West Michigan creating new jobs.

Arlington, Virginia-based Grimm provides cybersecurity consulting, research, testing and training for a number of government and commercial clients. As it looks at industry growth over the next three years, Grimm has decided now is the time to expand nationwide.

Foremost Farms

Wisconsin-based Foremost Farms is expanding in Greenville investing tens of millions of dollars creating jobs. Foremost Farms is a dairy processing cooperative based in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Its milk processing and marketing cooperative that is farmer-owned. The co-op has roughly 1,400 dairy farmer members. Its annual sales are $1.5 billion ranking 28th in the nation.

international.gc.ca

Michigan exports several billion dollars in automotive and agriculture goods to Canada and Mexico each year. With the United States renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with its neighbors, non-profit regional development organization, The Right Place, along with the Van Andel Global Trade Center invited area business leaders to meet privately with the Canadian Consul General for an update on negotiations.

Axis Company

Axis Company builds robotic automation and assembly equipment. As the economy grows and demand for its products increases leadership had a decision to make; expand in Grand Rapids or look outside the state for a new, second location.

The temptation was to move closer to one of its major out-of-state customers. Instead, Axis will stay in Kent County. It plans to invest $4 million at a location to be determined and over the next three years, add 50 high-tech jobs.

Despite a 108-page proposal from local economic development organization The Right Place, Amazon has passed on Grand Rapids as a potential city to house the online retailer’s second headquarters. The Right Place President Birgit Khlos, who declined to be interviewed released this statement,

The Right Place 2018 Economic Outlook for West Michigan is forecasting a strong economy in 2018. The forecast was made Thursday morning at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. Providing the forecast was Dr. Jim Robey of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. He says, while it will remain strong into 2018, it will be for the West Michigan economy to keep the pace it grew in the previous year.  

The Right Place

More than $4 million dollars will be invested in an iconic building along Wyoming’s 28th Street. What was once home to Rogers Department Store and Klingman’s Furniture will soon have a new business moving in.

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