Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Germany-based worldwide technology company Söhnergroup will relocate the North American headquarters and operations of GRW Technologies to Kentwood, Michigan. The company will move its headquarters and operations from Winchester, Virginia and chose Michigan over Mexico as a result of the work of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and The Right Place in Grand Rapids.
"We have the most aggressive plan of any state to diversify our economy into new technologies and we are now seeing this recognized across the globe," said Granholm. "GRW Technologies is part of a company that makes highly sophisticated electronics, medical devices and communications components, and this decision says much about Michigan as the place for highly sophisticated companies to locate."
The company is expected to hire 50 and move ten employees from Germany and its current operations in Winchester, Virginia, during the first quarter of 2007. It expects to grow its workforce to as many as 150 employees by the end of 2008.
GRW Technologies, a manufacturer of precision injection moldings, in relocating its operations to Kentwood will transfer assets valued at $3 million and invest approximately $1.7 million to lease and equip a 42,000-square-foot facility, with an option for an additional 57,000 square feet. GRW plans to invest an additional $8 million in the next three years, depending on new business the company is currently targeting.
"West Michigan stands out as an ideal location for our business with its highly skilled workforce and strong work ethic," said Walter Gebert, president of GRW Technologies. "As one who has previously run two technology companies in the Grand Rapids area, I found and our corporate leadership agreed, that these attributes were most important for our future growth. We are pleased to be moving to Kentwood and excited by our prospects for success."
The announcement results from efforts by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and The Right Place, Inc., of Grand Rapids.
"We are delighted to welcome GRW Technologies to the growing list of successful German firms in the Grand Rapids area," said Birgit Klohs, president of The Right Place. "We are grateful for Mr. Gebert's recognition of the excellent workforce and his decision to relocate to Kentwood."
"It is no accident that this global company has chosen West Michigan," said James C. Epolito, MEDC president and CEO. "This is a great place to build a quality workplace in an attractive business climate."
Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Schwaigern, Germany, Walter Söhner GmbH & Co. is the parent company of the Söhnergroup to which the following independent companies belong: Steffen Söhner GmbH in Schlottwitz, Germany; SK Technologies GmbH in Reinholdsheim, Germany, Waldon Ltd. in Tonyrefail, Wales, Addex AG in Emmental, Switzerland, Söhner Technology Ltd in Suzhou, China; and GRW Technologies Inc. in Winchester, Virginia.
The Söhnergroup designs and manufactures complete electric/electronic components and systems for the automotive, medical device, communications and electronic industry and is a leading supplier of highly sophisticated components for ABS, powertrain and sensor systems. Customers include Bosch, Siemens and Continental. The company currently employs about 1,200 associates in six locations in Europe, North America and Asia. Sales for 2006 are expected to be $230 million.
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