Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2021
Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg, email@example.com
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces 90 manufacturing and professional services jobs in Southwest Michigan
LANSING, Mich. - Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today to announce two projects in Southwest Michigan that will create 90 new good paying jobs in Portage and Decatur and provide additional housing in Kalamazoo have been approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund, signaling continued economic recovery in Michigan.
"Today's $10.8 million investment by Midwest Fastener will create jobs and uplift communities in Southwest Michigan," said Governor Whitmer. "This project will help us continue Michigan's economic jumpstart with 90 good-paying jobs in Portage and Decatur and additional housing in Kalamazoo. We will stay laser-focused on expanding economic opportunity for Michiganders across the state by creating jobs, supporting small businesses, and adding vibrancy to downtown areas."
Midwest Fastener expanding its headquarters in Portage; growing facility in Decatur
Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Portage, Midwest Fastener Corp. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of nuts, bolts, anchors, deck and drywall screws and specialty fasteners. The company recently purchased Hy-ko Products in Northfield, Ohio resulting in the need for Midwest Fastener to expand its office space and distribution operation. To secure the company's $10.8 million investment in its headquarters and distribution center expansion in Portage and Decatur and creation of up to 90 jobs, the company has been awarded a $500,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.
"Midwest Fastener Corp. has been blessed with continued growth and again needs to expand our Portage facility and staff to support our growing customer base. We are optimistic about the future and our commitment to the community of Portage is stronger than ever," said MFC President Andy DeVries. "Midwest sincerely appreciates the support received from the Michigan Business Development Program, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and the city of Portage in the creation of up to 90 new jobs in Portage and Decatur. Without this support, MFC could not have achieved these great successes."
The project serves as a critical retention and growth opportunity in the state, while continuing to build on Michigan's growing leadership in professional service fields, including jobs found in company headquarters. Midwest Fastener Corp. provides critical pathways for entry-level employees to receive training with the ability for promotion. The project represents a job creation mix spanning across positions for both headquarter operations as well as skilled and unskilled laborers for its warehouse and distribution center.
"Southwest Michigan First congratulates Midwest Fastener as it further establishes the company's global headquarters in Portage and continues optimization of its global distribution and logistics network. The ongoing growth of the quality hardware manufacturer into additional markets, job creation and recent acquisitions is an outstanding indicator of all that our region has to offer," said Carla Sones, president and interim CEO of Southwest Michigan First. "We thank the company's leadership and our partners at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and city of Portage for supporting the efforts behind this important project."
The city of Portage has offered a 50-percent property tax abatement in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Midwest Fastener should visit https://www.fastenerconnection.com/about/careers.
"The investments being made by Midwest Fastener Corporation are important to the Portage community. Midwest Fastener Corporation is a locally owned and operated business that began operations in 1967 and moved to the Shaver Road location in 1983," said Portage City Manager Joe La Margo. "Over the years, several facility expansion projects have been completed increasing operations and expanding job opportunities for local residents. The city of Portage proud to support this locally owned and operated company on their most recent expansion project."
Historic renovation in downtown Kalamazoo a catalyst for additional economic activity
266 Michigan Ave Kalamazoo, LLC plans to renovate a historic four-story building into a mixed-use development in the Haymarket historic district of downtown Kalamazoo. When completed, the project will include 11 residential units on the upper floors, with upgrades to the building including an elevator and an enhanced façade at the rear of the property. The first floor currently houses a longtime restaurant tenant and will also include space for a second restaurant.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $3.5 million and create five jobs, resulting in a $420,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The project will transform an underutilized building into a vibrant, attractive property, bringing much-needed housing near several major employers. The project is also expected to draw additional visitors to the downtown area and serve as a catalyst for additional economic activity.
The City of Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has also received MSF approval of a brownfield work plan that will include $31,946 in state tax capture reimbursement for the remediation of brownfield conditions at the site.
"The Hall Block at 266 East Michigan is the last remaining large historic building with three stories of vacant space in the Haymarket historic district. We are excited that the Coney Island Hot Dog restaurant will remain in the west bay of the first floor, the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Kalamazoo," said Kalamazoo Sustainable Development Coordinator Jamie McCarthy. "We are pleased to offer support through a collaboration between the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, and Downtown Economic Growth Authority. We greatly appreciate this investment by the developer and the Michigan Strategic Fund which will contribute to making downtown an amazing place to live, work, and visit."
The city is supporting the project with the approval of the local portion of the brownfield work plan, and the Downtown Economic Growth Authority is approving 20-year tax increment financing valued at $163,974. The city of Kalamazoo is certified with MEDC's Redevelopment Ready Communities program.
"We are working to aggressively retain and grow companies like Midwest Fastener Corp. who are creating jobs in Southwest Michigan, as well as developing the vibrant communities that our workforce is able to live, work and play in," said Josh Hundt, Chief Business Development Officer and Executive Vice President at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "We are proud to work with Southwest Michigan First and these local communities on two projects that will help to drive economic opportunity in the region."
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state's marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan's economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Rendering courtesy of Midwest Fastener