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Governor applauds new Newell Rubbermaid facility in Kalamazoo

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today praised Newell Rubbermaid for its decision to locate a design and innovation facility in Kalamazoo, thanking the company for choosing to invest in the state and for bringing new jobs to Michigan.

"Having a world-class company such as Newell Rubbermaid choose to locate in Michigan is a great win for us and a testament to our talented work force and the competitiveness of Michigan as a research and development hotbed," Snyder said. "Newell's investment and the jobs it will generate demonstrate that bold reforms to our business climate and our state's talent are now putting Michigan at the top of the nation's best places to locate, expand and grow new jobs."


Newell Rubbermaid is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with a portfolio of leading brands, including Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Graco, Calphalon, Paper Mate, and Irwin. The company plans to build a state-of-the-art Design Center in Kalamazoo that will serve as a hub to consolidate all of its U.S. product and graphic design capabilities. The company will invest $2.3 million and create up to 100 design jobs, resulting in a $2 million Michigan Business Development performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Chicago.


"Great performance, design and innovation make all the difference between a standard product and one that wins with consumers. Our new state-of-the-art Design Center will provide a collaborative environment to help us bring our biggest and best ideas to market and better meet the needs of our consumers worldwide," said Chuck Jones, Newell Rubbermaid's chief design and research & development officer. "We thank the state of Michigan for their support and look forward to joining the Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University community, which is known for its rich pool of design talent, close partnerships between education and business, and outstanding quality of life."

The city of Kalamazoo has offered tax abatements valued at $164,000.


"The city is pleased to welcome Newell Rubbermaid into our community," said Ken Collard, Kalamazoo city manager. "This company perfectly complements Kalamazoo's growing design and engineering community. We look forward to being a partner in their growth plans."

"The Newell facility in Kalamazoo will further diversify Michigan's economy and provide additional high paying jobs for years to come," said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. "It is thanks to the efforts of the city of Kalamazoo, Southwest Michigan First and Western Michigan University that this project is happening here, and we are very pleased to support that collaboration."


"The Southwest Michigan Region welcomes Newell Rubbermaid, its people and their families to our community. We believe that Newell Rubbermaid will enjoy its new location here due to the fact that both the company's and region's cultures are deeply rooted in innovation and the creation of things that change peoples' lives," said Ron Kitchens, chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First. "We look forward to watching a relationship develop between the company and region into a collaborative partnership."


The facility will be located in the Business Technology and Research Park at Western Michigan University. The WMU BTR Park is one of Michigan's Smart Zones and home to WMU's College of Engineering.


"Western Michigan University's Colleges of Engineering, Fine Arts and Business are tremendously interested in pursuing collaborations with Newell Rubbermaid. With this project, the current footprint of our Business Technology and Research Park is complete and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. has been a great partner every step of the way," said Bob Miller, associate vice president of Western Michigan University.


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 Michigan Strategic Fund 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.