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As global equipment manufacturers jockey to supply the $19.6 billion craft brewing industry, one West Michigan entrepreneur has positioned his company to serve amateur brewers who make beer in their garages and basements.

It is not unusual for companies to find themselves wondering from time to time just how big of a market a given component has.

As many Michigan employers continue to struggle to find the talent they need to operate their businesses, Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the initial round of appointments to the board of directors for the state’s new Talent Investment Agency (TIA). Kenyatta Brame, executive vice president at Grand Rapids-based Cascade Engineering Inc., is among the handful of business executives, educators and professionals from across the state who were appointed to serve on the board. Brame spoke with MiBiz shortly after his appointment to discuss strategies the state can implement to more effectively recruit and retain the talent that Michigan companies need to grow.

While workforce development and attraction requires a range of strategies, West Michigan manufacturers have begun to embrace an apprenticeship model of continuing education to combat the so-called talent gap.

The latest sales figures and a quarterly activity index show the office furniture industry on strong footing heading into next month’s NeoCon trade show in Chicago.

What began as a pilot program in 2014 to assist Michigan companies in training their workers has gained steam in its second year as growing manufacturers continue to clamor for help in retaining and attracting employees.

The trade-offs that are made to gain improvements in fuel economy and emissions reductions can spawn new needs and create opportunities for enterprising component suppliers.

The new owners of Grandville-based Jireh Metal Products Inc. hope that the traditional manufacturing company can benefit from some growth and leadership strategies gleaned from their experience in other industries.

One West Michigan research and engineering firm plans to develop the next iteration of a new composite thermoforming technology thanks to a grant from Detroit-based NextEnergy.

West Michigan OEMs have started to spread their firsthand knowledge on sustainable business practices throughout their supply chains to help shorten the learning curve for their suppliers.

The $19.6 billion craft beer business is truly a manufacturing industry.

While it’s had to overcome a negative perception about the quality of remanufactured parts, one West Michigan company has built its business around the value proposition the components offer customers compared to new parts.

More West Michigan manufacturers in the automotive supply chain could be adding new facilities and equipment over the next few years.

A combination of cost-cutting initiatives and pressures from customers to globalize production may prove to be a challenge in the coming years for West Michigan companies in the automotive supply chain.

While oil and natural gas production can be a fickle business, one West Michigan manufacturer has used the industry’s boom-and-bust cycle to catapult its long-term strategic growth.

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