VIDEO: More Jobs, New Investment as Newell Rubbermaid Calls Michigan "Home" for Its New Design Center

By Reinvention Blog | May 23, 2014

When Newell Rubbermaid was looking for a home for its new design facility, the company looked at cities like Atlanta, Chicago, London and Milan. But it chose Kalamazoo, Michigan -- and that decision is bringing $2.3 million in investment and up to 100 new jobs to our state.

"We had lots of choices where to build this facility, and we came to Kalamazoo because it made the most sense," said Michael Polk, president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid. "[It's] the intersection of good government and industry partnership, the perfect venue, and a great source of talent."

Newell Rubbermaid is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with brands including Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Graco, Calphalon, Paper Mate, and Irwin. The new Kalamazoo facility is a state-of-the-art design center that will serve as a hub to consolidate all of its product and graphic design capabilities.

The employees at Newell Rubbermaid are glad to call the Great Lakes State home.

"I love Michigan. I love the state, and I was really excited to get back here -- to be able to drive 45 minutes and see a Michigan State football game, two hours to Toledo to see my mom, and then an hour to go to the beach, or two hours to go to Chicago, I mean it's really, really cool," said Hilary Riffe, manager of photography at Newell Rubbermaid.

Laura Vennie, the company's director of usability, is from Michigan, moved to Chicago, and has come back home for her job at Newell Rubbermaid.

"Everyone is so happy to be here, and everyone wants to design products for our consumers that are innovative, easy to use, have cool designs," Vennie said. "It's good to be back in Michigan."

Governor Snyder toured the new design center for its grand opening, and he thanked Newell Rubbermaid for making a commitment to Michigan. 

"This is a situation where everyone wins," Governor Snyder said. "It's about people recognizing we have a common vision, common mission, about creating a great environment to live, work and play."