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In 6 months, GR Chamber program builds ties, belonging for minority-owned biz
When Laura Hopson moved her industrial supply business from Lansing to Grand Rapids in 2020, she had an “intentional strategy” to connect with the local chamber of commerce and leverage networking opportunities with like-minded business owners.
Waséyabek hires associate attorney as business portfolio grows
GRAND RAPIDS — Joining Waséyabek Development Co. LLC represents a merging of Erika Weiss’ professional experience in business and tribal law, and offers an opportunity to explore a long-held interest in non-gaming economic development.
Shape CEO discusses EV transition opportunity, state incentives strategy, inclusion in Ottawa County
Mark White sees the massive disruption in the automotive industry caused by electric vehicles as an opportunity rather than a threat.
Waséyabek leader lecturing at Harvard on tribal economic development success
GRAND RAPIDS — Deidra Mitchell, president and CEO of Waséyabek Development Co. LLC, was selected to guest lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to promote best practices in tribal economic development.
Michigan Democrats propose 2030 energy storage target to bolster electric grid
State Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation to codify energy storage goals outlined in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s climate action plan that bill supporters say is crucial to accompany more renewable energy generation coming online.
Grand Rapids native to help craft KConnect’s policy agenda for lawmakers
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Shayla Young won a prestigious Gates Millennium scholarship just before graduating from Central High School in 2008 that paid for all of her post-secondary education. After earning a doctorate in education from Michigan State University, Young will now play a key role in a new effort by KConnect, a nonprofit that convenes cross-sector partners to address inequities where she will help build a common policy agenda that closes the “unacceptable achievement gaps for children and families of color in Kent County.” Alongside assistance from the Michigan League for Public Policy and local experts Kathleen Bruinsma and John Helmholdt, Young serves as the postdoctoral fellow who will convene community members to craft policy objectives around issues such as education, housing and family stability, to name a few. This policy agenda will then be communicated with local, state and federal lawmakers, and also help to inform KConnect’s internal and external policies around advocating for legislative issues. Young recently discussed her role in KConnect’s new policy initiative and how her background prepared her for the job.
Tribal experts optimistic Grand River Bands will gain recognition
Tribal affairs experts say the federal government erred in determining that the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians failed to meet the criteria for federal recognition and remain optimistic that the tribe will successfully obtain the crucial designation.
Talent solutions take center stage at auto supplier symposium
GRAND RAPIDS — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. has hired roughly 500 new employees over the past two and a half months, making a major dent in the Zeeland-based company’s unfilled positions.
Service Express acquires East Coast data center service provider while establishing engineering base in Ireland
GRAND RAPIDS — Third-party data center maintenance provider Service Express Inc. continues its M&A streak with the acquisition of a similarly focused Massachusetts-based company, as the Grand Rapids firm separately establishes a footprint in Dublin, Ireland.
Hope Network to break ground soon on $40M housing project
GRAND RAPIDS — Nonprofit disability service provider Hope Network is set to break ground this spring on a $40 million affordable housing project after overcoming pandemic- and financing-related delays.
New statewide scholarship program aims to lure next generation of EV, mobility workers
State officials are partnering with major universities and auto-sector employers on a new statewide scholarship program aimed at developing talent in the electric vehicle and mobility space.
Amway 2022 sales dip on strong U.S. dollar, affiliate sale, withdrawal from Russia
ADA — Direct-selling giant Amway Corp. reported a slight sales decline in 2022 from the prior year, citing the strength of the U.S. dollar, the sale of an affiliated nutritional supplement company and the company’s withdrawal from Russia.
Third generation sells stalwart Mackinac Island ferry service
The Shepler family’s decision to sell the third-generation-owned ferry transportation company was “not taken lightly, but it was necessary.”
Auxo grows wire harness platform with Tack Electronics acquisition
Auxo Investment Partners’ acquisition of a West Michigan manufacturer has both in-state and national growth opportunities for the Grand Rapids private equity firm.
Wastewater pipeline to spur agribiz growth plans in West Michigan
A new 20-mile pipeline more than a decade in the making will support growth plans for multiple West Michigan agribusinesses that have been hampered by limited wastewater infrastructure.
GRCC librarian takes on statewide role with mission to ‘stand firm’ against book banning
Sophia Brewer is applying her longtime experience as a Grand Rapids librarian to a statewide role as a recently elected director to the Michigan Library Association board.
Economic developers seek a more confident, welcoming West Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS — Randy Thelen believes West Michigan needs to move away from its “best-kept secret” identity to a position of confidence if it wants to keep its momentum in attracting employers and talent.
Feds find GRBOI does not meet criteria for federal recognition
GRAND RAPIDS — The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed denying a decades-long effort by the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians to obtain federal recognition, a status that would bring numerous benefits to the tribe and its members.
The Right Place 3-year plan targets $550M in investment, 4K new or retained jobs
Growing West Michigan’s advanced manufacturing, health sciences and technology sectors while expanding economic opportunities for minority residents are key components of The Right Place Inc.’s new three-year strategic plan.
Little River Band awarded $100K to pursue creation of tribal utility
MANISTEE — The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is among the latest Native American tribes considering the creation of its own utility as a way to exercise sovereignty, diversify the tribe’s holdings, control more of its energy future and reduce costs.
GVSU partners with private sector to tackle labor shortage
A Q&A with Philomena Mantella, president of Grand Valley State University
Language, child care, transportation: Gentex tackling key drivers of labor shortage
GRAND RAPIDS — Gentex Corp.’s recently announced plan for a satellite production facility in the city of Grand Rapids is the Tier 1 auto supplier’s latest phase of a multi-pronged effort at attracting talent.
LEFT OUT TO DRY: State alcohol regulators deny liquor license for Grand Rapids laundromat owner
GRAND RAPIDS — Edward Bates opened a laundromat on Grand Rapids’ far south side in 2018 after investing about $3 million into the building with renovations and new equipment.
Gentex agrees to pay $4M to resolve SEC charges involving employee bonuses
ZEELAND — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. has agreed to pay $4 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges involving the company’s alleged accounting failures with executive and employee bonuses.
Michigan electric co-op lands $262.8M federal loan for electric, fiber infrastructure
BOYNE CITY — A northwestern Michigan electric cooperative and internet provider has secured a $262.8 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build and improve 438 miles of electric grid infrastructure and 2,420 miles of fiber network.
New GRCC facility to move automation training ‘years ahead’
GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Community College is building a first-of-its-kind automation and robotics manufacturing training center in West Michigan, thanks to a recently secured $1 million federal grant.
Sieger retiring after 35 years leading Grand Rapids Community Foundation
GRAND RAPIDS — Diana Sieger plans to retire as president of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the organization she helped to grow significantly over her 35-year tenure during which she became a powerful voice for Michigan’s philanthropic sector.
GR auto service center expanding with proceeds from building sale to Corewell Health
GRAND RAPIDS — A second Grand Rapids business owner is investing the proceeds from the sale of its Monroe North property to Corewell Health for further expansion.
‘We need to be here’: Tier 1 auto supplier Gentex to open production facility in GR
GRAND RAPIDS — Ottawa County’s largest employer is opening a satellite production facility on Grand Rapids’ south side in hopes of better attracting talent from the city and delivering economic benefits to a historically disadvantaged neighborhood.
EXECUTIVE ROUNDTABLE: Small business leaders navigate waves in the ‘big ocean of entrepreneurship’
Jermale Eddie co-founded Grand Rapids-based Malamiah Juice Bar a decade ago, but he still feels like he’s running a “10-year-old startup.”