Von Weise to Expand in Eaton Rapids, Create 364 New Jobs

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Global manufacturer moving Indiana, Missouri operations to Michigan

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Von Weise, Inc. plans to relocate its Indiana and Missouri operations to its facility in Eaton Rapids. The company will transfer approximately $4 million worth of equipment to Eaton Rapids and will invest $3.3 million in new equipment over the next five years. The expansion will create 364 new Michigan jobs, including 159 directly by the company over the next seven years. Assistance offered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation helped convince Von Weise to bring the project to Michigan over a competing site in Mexico.

“Our economic plan is designed to ensure that Michigan is a great state for companies to grow and create new jobs,” Granholm said. “This move by Von Weise will secure the company’s presence in Eaton Rapids and we celebrate their commitment to Michigan.”

Based on the MEDC’s recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority board today approved a state tax credit valued at more than $1.1 million over seven years to win the company’s investment. In addition, the MEDC is expected to approve an $800,000 Community Development Block Grant for machinery and equipment purchase. Eaton Rapids has approved a 12-year abatement valued at approximately $139,000 to support the project.

“Our talented workforce, competitive business climate and sound collaboration helped bring this project to Michigan,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “The city of Eaton Rapids really stepped up to help us to make a strong business case to win these new jobs.”

An economic analysis conducted by the MEDC estimates that increased economic activity created by the project will generate up to 205 indirect Michigan jobs in addition to up to 159 created directly by the company. The project is expected to generate more than $91 million in personal income for Michigan workers over the life of the tax credit.

“Von Weise is extremely grateful to both the state of Michigan and the city of Eaton Rapids for their support in improving our business competitiveness,” Von Weise President and CEO Marc Ryder said. “As a result of this support, Von Weise is better positioned and looks forward to developing new customers and products for the benefit of all of its stakeholders.”

The Von Weise project is one of five economic development projects the governor announced today. In all, they are expected to create and retain a total of 9,013 Michigan jobs.

“We couldn't be more pleased that VonWeise has chosen to expand their business and create new jobs in Eaton Rapids, in an industry that has been in our community for fifty years,” Mayor James Davidson said. “This is a great example of partnership between industry and state and local government. These new jobs help the city of Eaton Rapids and will benefit the entire Mid-Michigan region.”

Von Weise offers two product lines including: Automotive - small motors or actuators for automobiles, and Specialty Products - electric and recoil small engine starters for garden tractors, lawn mowers and snow blowers; mobile HVAC used in heavy trucks and buses; and gear motors and actuators for healthcare beds, power-assisted chairs and ice machines.The company is headquartered in Eaton Rapids and has facilities in Eaton Rapids, Nappanee, Indiana; Juarez, Mexico; St. Clair, Missouri and Cambridge, Ontario.

In her 2008 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of creating opportunity in the changing world of the 21st century. Since January 2005, the governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 235,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.


Von Weise Inc.    
(All estimates in 2008 dollars)     

TOTAL JOBS CREATED                                                                                364

Direct                                                                                                                            159

Indirect                                                                                                                         205

NET                                                                                                  $5,935,000

Revenue Foregone                                                                                         $1,145,000

Revenue Gain                                                                                   $7,080,000

Average Weekly Wage                                                                                             $529

Personal Income Generated Over 7-Yr Tax Credit Agreement                $91,938,000


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.