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Joe Boomgaard

Joe Boomgaard

Managing Editor

[email protected]

GRAND RAPIDS — Despite its fierce competitiveness, the office furniture industry finds many ways to work together, including around standards and regulations and sustainability. 

It's that cooperation that has the federal government taking notice.

GRAND RAPIDS — Companies today face a workforce dilemma.

Many businesses — and especially local manufacturers — still report they're struggling to find qualified talent, despite relatively high unemployment statewide creating a pool of available workers.

A laser-like focus on controlling both cost and quality led to one local transportation industry supplier expanding into new capabilities and bringing previously outsourced production to its West Michigan operations.

WEST MICHIGAN — Michigan needs to do a better job of tending its garden of existing businesses rather than focus on hunting for outside companies. 

That is the driver behind the expansion of the Pure Michigan Business Connect program, which started as a pilot in Nov. 2011 to help grow the state's second-stage companies.

Aquinas College always intended to expand its athletic facilities, but budgetary restraints forced the college to scale back its original plans.  Now, a lead gift from an Aquinas alum jumpstarted the college's fundraising effort for the second phase. 

WALKER — An employee's years of experience with the food processing industry proved invaluable for a startup sheet metal shop in developing innovations to help save customers time and money and keep them in compliance with stricter food safety regulations.

Jim Monaweck, project manager for Walker Custom Sheet Metal LLC, knows the food business. He grew up on a farm and spent years in the fabrication business creating machines and other custom products for the food processing industry. 

An abundance of cheap natural gas could drive down costs for customers and potentially change how utilities decide to generate power in the short term.

If natural gas prices remain low, companies in downtown Grand Rapids connected to Veolia Energy's district energy network can also expect to see a decrease in costs. The utility uses natural gas to produce steam and is regulated by the city to tie its rate structure to the market rate of the fuel.

The key to a successful acquisition is the careful attention and process a company brings to it.

WEST MICHIGAN — The latest entry into Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s statewide care network could very well end up as much more than a partner.

After more than 40 years of marriage, Eileen Kanaar knows what it takes to get her husband, Greg, to listen. But now that she's majority owner of their family-owned business, she's also learning what it's like to be his boss.

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