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Nick Manes

Nick Manes

Staff writer

[email protected]

This year’s local Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) student competition, known as the ACG Cup, has a new twist.

A coalition of business and agriculture groups and West Michigan economic developers wants to make it easier to ship products into the region’s only deepwater port from the Mississippi River system.

The race for engineering talent among manufacturers has companies interacting with possible candidates well before they even earn their degrees.

A move to further diversify its business and enhance product offerings led Grand Rapids-based Gill Industries Inc. to acquire GR Spring & Stamping Inc. (GRSS).

With the automotive industry back above pre-recession production levels, the state of Michigan wants to ensure that the momentum continues. To oversee the state’s efforts, Gov. Rick Snyder in September appointed auto industry veteran Nigel Francis as the state’s first senior automotive adviser.

Grandville-based MFP Automation Engineering Inc.’s focus on diversification led the company to a path of steady growth — and to the manufacturer outgrowing its existing facility.

Add volatile steel and commodity prices to the list of uncertainties facing West Michigan’s manufacturers — and in some cases contributing to higher prices for their customers.

One major consideration for employers in setting up benefits packages is the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

In the so-called “war for talent,” small businesses are finding that their culture and work environment can be as important to candidates as the pay and benefits they’re offering.

A West Michigan medical device development and manufacturing company is consolidating to Kalamazoo and expanding its operations, while still planning to leave a footprint in Grand Rapids.

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