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Sunday, 10 June 2012 18:29

Peek behind the PE curtain

At IRN Inc., we recently did a project for a private equity firm on the East Coast that was considering the acquisition of an automotive supplier in northern Indiana, a company similar to the many small and medium-sized manufacturers that grace West Michigan.

Published in Manufacturing

GRAND RAPIDS — Tapestry Square, the Wealthy-Jefferson Development Initiative developed by the Inner City Christian Federation, is but the first step in a potential six-phase, more than $60 million revitalization project to transform a key city neighborhood over the next five years.

The project, which stems back to 1991 when ICCF joined with the South East Community Association and began a preservation plan, covers a wide swath of territory from Cherry Street on the north to Franklin Street on the South, bordered by Lafayette and Division Avenue.

Published in Design Build
Sunday, 29 April 2012 20:00

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch: Curo

Curo provides pharmacy services to long-term health care providers such as rehabilitation centers, retirement communities, adult foster care homes, nursing homes and assisted living centers. The company’s business model combines technological investments with old-fashioned attentiveness and personal service. A pivotal moment in the company’s history occurred when its largest competitor abruptly went out of business, which resulted in Curo’s clientele quickly increasing by 50 percent. Although this put a strain on its systems and staff, CURO was able to recruit additional personnel and obtain more office space to meet the challenge. The company enjoys strong growth and projects a revenue increase of 30 percent for 2012.

Published in Small Business

The automotive industry continues to experience positive results as consumers become increasingly comfortable with the idea of shelling out hard-earned dollars for a new vehicle again. Industry observers cheered when February sales exceeded expectations and came in at the highest annualized rate in four years, up 16 percent over last year.

Published in Manufacturing
Monday, 19 March 2012 09:42

Trucks: The other vehicle market

The automotive industry looms large in West Michigan, but it is not the only vehicular game in town

Published in Manufacturing
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 12:21

Parting Shots - Key Stone

Speaking of job-centric, put this in your jobs pipe and have the Administration smoke it: TransCanada Corp. says its Keystone XL pipeline project is shovel-ready and the company is poised to put 20,000 Americans — pipe fitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, etc — to work to construct the pipeline.

Published in Economic Development

Employment in the automotive industry is on its way back up, after a 10-year slide between 1999 and 2009. Analysis from the Center for Automotive Research projects the addition of 167,000 jobs to U.S. automotive manufacturing between 2011 and 2015. CAR sees 15 percent of these jobs being added by the Detroit Three, 80 percent occurring at supplier companies, and the remainder from the foreign-owned automakers at their U.S. facilities.

Published in Manufacturing

I want to tell you about a great success story coming out of Battle Creek’s Downtown Transformation Initiative: the Global Food Protection Institute. 

Published in Economic Development

This year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) heralded the unveiling of more than 40 new cars and trucks from participating automakers. One of the clear messages coming from the proceedings at this year’s show is that the midsize and compact car segments are where the battle for consumers’ hearts (and pocketbooks) is rooted.

Published in Manufacturing
Monday, 23 January 2012 11:22

Parting Shots - Mitten Power

Speaking of action, it is beginning to look like federal leaders should actively turn their solution-searching eyes toward Michigan, where a notable economic turnaround is underway and gaining traction, sparked in large part because of our simmering manufacturing renaissance.

Published in Economic Development
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