Jessica Young

Jessica Young

Staff Writer, covers manufacturing and agribusiness 
Twitter: @JessAyYo 
 
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 14:27

UFPI acquires Pallet USA, restructures

GRAND RAPIDS — An affiliate of Universal Forest Products Inc. (NASDAQ: UFPI) has acquired Hartford, Wis.-based Pallet USA LLC, expanding Universal’s industrial product-capacity and services in the Midwest.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 16:59

Amway cuts 47 positions, more layoffs to come

ADA — Global direct-selling giant Amway Corp. has eliminated 47 information technology positions in another round of cuts to its workforce, the company confirmed to MiBiz. 

Michigan is the most attractive state in the Midwest for new aerospace manufacturing businesses.

As the hunt for PFAS contamination has expanded into crops and livestock, it has revealed new food safety concerns related to the limited state-led testing system and lax federal standards. 

Despite a historically cold spring, a year-over-year decline in acreage and new outbreaks of pests, some local growers of hops are reporting record-breaking harvests. 

Agricultural land values have remained relatively stable throughout most regions in Michigan, even though many farmers continue to face serious headwinds. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019 07:00

New partners seek to end farmworker exploitation

Working under the hot summer sun, Ricardo Martinez and Yolanda Garrido concentrated on meeting their quota. They lost track of the hours, but bucket-by-bucket, seven days a week, they picked blueberries at a farm in Southwest Michigan. 

West Michigan businesses are responding to reports from the White House that the U.S. government is considering drastic cuts to the number of refugees who are allowed to enter the country.

GRAND RAPIDS — The assets of Grand Rapids Hydroponics Inc. were acquired by Denver-based GrowGeneration Corp., the largest chain of specialty hydroponic and organic garden centers. 

When Grand Rapids-based Multi-Automatic Tool and Supply Co. started searching for prospective acquisitions several years ago, the move came as a reaction to many of the company’s customers buying directly from small shops. 

BATTLE CREEK — Cedar Run Decoy Co. LLC aims to provide hunters with new ways to get back to the basics of waterfowling. 

ACME — After a decade of bullish outlooks, automotive suppliers need to buckle up for a period of upcoming disruptions. 

Sunday, 18 August 2019 18:35

The autonomous promise

Self-driving shuttles may be traveling through downtown Grand Rapids these days, but automakers say broad acceptance for autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles will take more patience. 

Uncertainties related to trade policies continue to plague the automotive industry, which has closely linked production operations in Canada, Mexico and overseas.

From rubber horseshoes to roll-covers for paper, metal and other industries, Vail Rubber Works Inc. has been steadily serving supply chains in West Michigan for more than a century.

The death count from frightful incidents involving enclosed grain elevators is on the rise — a stark reminder to West Michigan’s agricultural industry of the dangers of grain handling.

HOLLAND — Automotive supplier GHSP is expanding and moving its headquarters and engineering laboratory to the Holland Technical Center, MiBiz has learned. 

West Michigan businesses are building strategies to accommodate and support the grand opening of the state’s new billion-dollar cannabis industry, although many still crowd behind a self-imposed shroud of secrecy. 

After a 40-year career at direct-selling giant Amway Corp., former Vice Chairman Bill Payne wanted to find a way to stay involved in the West Michigan business community. 

A chorus of manufacturing leaders and trade organizations from Michigan are urging Congress to pass a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

GRAND RAPIDS — Handbag and luggage manufacturer Public Thread developed its business strategy around the idea that one company’s waste could be another’s raw material. 

Helix Steel hopes to find a silver lining in what’s become a growing infrastructure crisis in the state of Michigan. 

“Please see attached.” That’s the email employees at Grand Rapids-based Kindel Furniture Co. Inc. received from a company vice president in late April. Within a few minutes, two people had tried to open the included attachment and replied back to the apparent sender that they were having trouble.

GRAND RAPIDS — Nearly every guest who spends the night at a hotel room in downtown Grand Rapids sleeps on the same mattress. 

Sunday, 07 July 2019 19:00

Soggy fields hamper Michigan farmers

Time has run out for about 10 percent of crops in the state, as Michigan farmers face delays related to one of the wettest spring seasons on record. 

Despite slowing national economic growth, U.S. demand for office space continues to rise above forecasts. 

SHELBY — When Grand Haven-based JSJ Corp. decided last year to get out of the contract furniture business, Silver Street Inc. saw an opportunity to bolster its product offerings.

Outdoor workspaces could be a solution to rising real estate costs and the next frontier of wellness in the workplace, experts say.

With new vehicle prices continuing to rise, a new report shows an abundance of lightly-used SUVs and trucks could push more shoppers into the pre-owned market in 2019.

MARNE – Metal fabricator DeWys Manufacturing Inc. will invest nearly $7 million over three years in a 30,000-square-foot expansion to its existing facility in Wright Township.