Published in Economic Development
John Kennedy, President of Autocam Medical Devices LLC and Chairman of West Michigan Policy Forum John Kennedy, President of Autocam Medical Devices LLC and Chairman of West Michigan Policy Forum MiBiz file photo

2018 Outlook: John Kennedy, Autocam Medical Devices LLC

BY Sunday, December 24, 2017 03:31pm

Federal tax reform could act as a catalyst to fuel corporate growth in 2018 and beyond, according to John Kennedy, the president of Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of orthopedic implants, spinal implants, orthopedic cutting tools and other medical device components. “This tax reform will free cash flow from the lower taxes and unlock capital held outside the U.S.,” said Kennedy, who thinks the domestic economy will grow rapidly next year at a pace it hasn’t seen in a decade.

“Our primary business is medical device and this industry would benefit from less regulation that is slowing the development of new life-improving medical advancements. Our primary impediment to capture this growth in our company is talent. We will continue to invest for the long term in the talent pipeline. Therefore, we are investing in literacy in our (Grand Rapids Public School) children and roughly 20 percent of our workforce is enrolled in the Apprentice/Technician/Engineer Advanced Manufacturing Program (AMP) with our education partners. Although both of these can help build talent for the future, the opportunity is here now. We need to figure out, like all manufacturers, how to meet current customer demand. We are positioned to grow over 10 percent in the next year and could grow faster if we can hire the skilled machinists we need to meet the customers’ delivery needs. … I am very proud of the work our state leadership has done over the last eight years positioning Michigan on a trajectory to be a top 10 state for business attraction. We have one major thing left to do, which is make sure local governments are accountable to meeting the promises made to police, fire and municipal workers for retirement benefits.”

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