“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.

Published in Manufacturing

WYOMING — A 92-acre shovel-ready industrial property sits empty about five miles south of downtown Grand Rapids, even amid a shortage of available manufacturing spaces across West Michigan.

Officials studying commuter transit options between Grand Rapids and Holland are hoping to make West Michigan more competitive when it comes to talent attraction.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority has hired a consultant to lead the process of weighing concepts for developing a full-service hotel to serve the downtown convention center. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Michigan’s second-largest city crossed the 200,000-person population milestone for the first time last summer, as communities along the western side of the state posted strong growth.

Published in Economic Development

GRAND RAPIDS — The Kent County Department of Public Works and The Right Place Inc. have announced a development partnership for the Kent County Sustainable Business Park. The Department of Public Works announced last year it was issuing a request for information to seek potential tenants for the proposed business park on about 200 acres that it owns in Byron Township and Allegan County, adjacent to its South Kent Landfill.

Published in Economic Development

Floor care product company Bissell Inc. plans to invest $10 million into an expansion project at its corporate headquarters.

Published in Manufacturing

Recent research has indicated the so-called skills gap of the past decade may have been associated more with expectations of employers than the qualifications of the workforce. Millions of jobs were lost in the U.S. during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, and for years after the economic decline officially yielded, high unemployment rates persisted. Even with large pools of job seekers, employers reported difficulty in finding candidates with acceptable skills, credentialing or postsecondary education. Many experts dubbed the phenomenon a “skills gap.”

Published in Talent

As Larry Lewis advanced in his career as an engineer in the manufacturing, construction and telecommunications industries, he relied on computers as an essential tool for his everyday work. His aptitude grew alongside the technology, to which he was first exposed at Dartmouth College in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Published in Manufacturing

Whether the West Michigan manufacturing industry continues on an ongoing growth trend in 2019 or veers into a contraction remains uncertain. Economist Paul Isely, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University, uses automotive, furniture, agriculture, and “amazingly nowadays” aerospace manufacturing to find the pulse of where the region’s economy is headed in the coming months and years. 

Published in Manufacturing
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