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MATTAWAN — The proposed sale of MPI Research Inc. to Charles River Laboratories International Inc. for $800 million would end local ownership for a company that’s one of the largest employers in the greater Kalamazoo area.

State and federal regulators have approved the proposed $61.8 million merger of TCSB Bancorp Inc. in Traverse City into Independent Bank Corp.

In her third State of the City address on Thursday evening, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss presented the city as being open for business, but acknowledged it also needed to address various economic disparities.

From his three deployments to Iraq, where he earned two Bronze Stars for his actions, to owning and operating a Lansing, Michigan, coffee shop, Mark Thompson is the type of person who never settles. His next challenge is always around the corner; full of new things for him to learn and be excited about.

The consolidation trend among Michigan credit unions remained strong in 2017, leading to a further reduction in the number of institutions in the state.

MiBiz Growth Report: Feb. 19, 2018

Written by | Sunday, 18 February 2018 20:07 |

Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Feb. 19, 2018: 

• M&A: Great Lakes Scrip Center Inc., a West Michigan-based provider of gift cards for fundraising, was acquired by Minneapolis, Minn.-based Bold Orange, a recently formed marketing firm. Over 23 years, Great Lakes Scrip Center has worked with more than 48,000 organizations to raise $680 million. The company last spring acquired The Manna Group in Palatine, Ill. and was the largest gift card company in the nation. Local operations at Great Lakes Scrip, which employs about 90 people, will continue “business as usual,” said Jill Whalen, vice president for retail operations.

From office furniture to automotive parts, the manufacturing industry is full of career opportunities. To fill these positions, companies often seek out workers with the ability to adapt and learn new systems to advance their businesses. These workers both embrace their unique role and train others to leverage new technologies and processes.

GRAND RAPIDS — With Cascade Die Casting Group Inc. purchasing up to a dozen new robots every year, the company has realized its investments can’t stop with just the equipment.

GRAND RAPIDS — Proposals to upzone several Grand Rapids neighborhoods in an attempt to address housing issues have exposed deep divisions among local stakeholders.

GRAND RAPIDS –– As city officials retool their efforts to find a new top executive for Grand Rapids, national experts say there’s a ripe market nationally for talent.

GRAND RAPIDS — With the new AMP Lab @WMU that’s set to open this fall, Western Michigan University wants to leverage public- and private-sector partnerships to help local manufacturers innovate and access talent.

Tech center targets next generation

Written by | Sunday, 18 February 2018 19:46 |

Backed by $432,000 in new state funding, the Kent Career Tech Center aims to expose more students to career opportunities in the skilled trades.

Over the last few years, manufacturers have developed extensive in-house training programs in a move to combat skilled worker shortages.

Until business leaders can come together to address industry problems, companies “will not succeed.”

By focusing on an internal culture that favors employee retention and support for external training initiatives, some West Michigan executives say they’ve largely avoided any problems associated with labor shortages.

NORTON SHORES — One growing Lakeshore area manufacturer didn’t have to look far when it came time to find a new place to consolidate its operations.

GRAND RAPIDS — Mercy Health’s partnership with the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids to plan the future of the religious order’s 34-acre Marywood Campus leverages a natural connection between the two organizations.

GRAND RAPIDS — Nearly four years after forming a research center, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital wants to focus more on exploring and developing potential new therapies to treat patients.

Transparency in health care in Michigan took a step forward with the launch of yet another online database for patients across the state to look up hospital data.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed final state budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars in one-time investments, increased funding for roads and years-long fees to support environmental initiatives.

GRAND RAPIDS — Philanthropic and nonprofit organizations will focus much more of their efforts on the issue of equity in 2018 and beyond.

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