©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Smiths Aerospace Growing In Cascade Township

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Elizabeth Boyd
(517) 335-6397

Homeland Security Company’s Expansion to Add 120 New Workers

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm joined company and local officials today to announce that assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has helped convince Smiths Aerospace to choose Cascade Township, Michigan for a major homeland security expansion project. The company will create an integrated laboratory for avionics development, primarily for future military aircraft.

The project is expected to create 214 new Michigan jobs over the next three years, including 120 directly by the company.

“The expansion of Smiths Aerospace will further propel Michigan’s Technology Tri-Corridor forward,” Granholm said. “With this and other new developments, Michigan is quickly becoming a leader in the fast-growing homeland security industry.”

Smiths Aerospace is a British-owned company that designs and produces integrated avionics equipment for the military and civilian aviation industry. The company’s products are integrated into virtually every American and British military aircraft.

Smiths Aerospace, which has a U.S. headquarters in Grand Rapids, weighed the advantages of expanding in nearby Cascade Township or a competing site in Maryland. The MEDC offered a high tech Single Business Tax credit worth $2.1 million over the next nine years to help convince the company to grow in Michigan.

"We are pleased to grow our business as a result of our strong integration capabilities and advanced technology for military and civil aircraft,” said Dave Miller, general manager of Smiths Aerospace in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “We are also very appreciative of the incentives offered by Cascade Township and the state of Michigan.”

The company’s new offices and laboratory will take up 44,000 square feet in an existing facility on 36th Street in Cascade Township. The laboratory will design, develop and test avionics systems and components, mainly for future military aircraft.

The MEDC worked closely with The Right Place Program to make a solid business case for the company’s expansion in Kent County.

"The Right Place is delighted that Smiths Aerospace, one of our fastest growing high tech companies, is expanding into Cascade Township,” The Right Place, Inc. President Birgit Klohs said. “This expansion further solidifies the company’s presence in our area for many years to come."

According to an economic analysis conducted by the University of Michigan, it is estimated that the Smiths Aerospace project will create an additional 94 Michigan jobs as a result of increased economic activity due to the expansion, in addition to the 120 jobs created directly by the company. The company’s increased operations will result in a net state revenue gain of more than $4.6 million over the life of the Single Business Tax credits.

The expansion and new jobs are welcome additions to the community, according to Cascade Township Supervisor Michael Julien.

"I am very pleased that Smiths Aerospace is growing in Cascade Township,” Julien said. “I think it reflects well not only on Cascade, but on the entire Grand Rapids area. The 120 jobs Smiths Aerospace’s expansion will create are very good news, indeed."

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.

Smiths Aerospace
Economic Analysis
Summary Estimates
(All estimates in 2003 dollars)



Revenue Foregone$2,178,000
Revenue Gain$6,815,000
Average Wage$1,000/week
Personal Income Generated Over
Life of the Tax Credit Agreement

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