LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce that automation solutions provider Axis Automation is expanding in the City of Walker with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF).
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of up to $5.7 million and create up to 50 jobs, supported by a $500,000 Jobs Ready Michigan Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing site in Illinois.
“This investment by Axis Automation will bring 50 high-tech manufacturing jobs to Walker and underscores the strength of our talented manufacturing workforce and our attractive business climate,” said Governor Whitmer. “This expansion in Walker cements Axis Automation’s presence in West Michigan and builds on our efforts to ensure Michigan’s innovative manufacturers lead the way in Industry 4.0 technologies and workforce needs. Our future is bright, and investments like this one by Axis Automation will help us continue moving our state forward.”
Axis Automation, established in 2015 in Walker, is an automation solutions provider for manufacturers. Axis’s mission is to support the adoption of automation solutions that empower people and enhance productivity. The Axis team conceptualizes, engineers, and builds high-performing, custom-made equipment specializing in robotics, assembly, joining, conveyance, and vision applications for a wide variety of industries.
By providing cutting-edge, highly automated solutions to advanced manufacturing companies, the project supports MEDC’s strategic goal of growing advanced manufacturing and technology industries in the state, in addition to aligning with the Industry 4.0 initiative launched in 2020 to ensure 50 percent of Michigan’s small and mid-sized manufacturers are prepared to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies by 2025.
Axis is experiencing growth from new customers and markets and plans to add 50 high-tech STEM jobs in the coming years to support demand. The company plans to lease a second facility in Walker to accommodate its growing operations.
“Congratulations to the team at Axis Automation on your continued growth and success! We’re pleased to support your expansion in Michigan and appreciate this vote of confidence in the strength of our talented workforce and attractive business climate,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “We are grateful to the Governor, bi-partisan members of the Legislature and local officials for their continued support of the Jobs Ready Michigan Program, which is designed to respond to specific needs of companies like Axis Automation that are creating high-wage, high-skill jobs for Michiganders. We’re proud to join our local partners to create these high-tech STEM jobs here and look forward to working Axis Automation to grow, add even more jobs, and provide greater employment and entrepreneurial opportunity for our friends and neighbors in West Michigan.”
“Continuing our growth in Michigan enables us to confidently invest in our team and facilities which, at the end of the day, support our customers and mission,” said Lead Project Manager Ryan Ruster.
The project will bring immediate high-tech, advanced manufacturing jobs to the region and could lead to additional growth and investment in Michigan. Axis plans to invest heavily in recruiting, training, and retraining STEM-oriented talent.
The Right Place worked with the MEDC to ensure the company continued its growth in the region rather than out-of-state locations. For information on careers with Axis, visit www.axisco.com/careers.
“Axis Automation is an incredibly experienced team of manufacturing and technology integration professionals,” said Jen Wangler, Vice President of Technology at The Right Place and project lead. “Their decision to stay in the area helps us continue our work of advancing manufacturers through technology integration and establishing our region as the next tech hub of the Midwest. We’re excited that they can continue to grow their team here in West Michigan.”
MEDC and the state of Michigan continue to place a strong priority on supporting opportunities for additional STEM training and workforce opportunities. In an effort to better retain STEM college graduates in the state, MEDC, in partnership with Ann Arbor SPARK, launched the Michigan STEM Forward internship program on a statewide level in 2021. The program helps to place STEM students currently attending Michigan colleges annually into STEM-focused internships throughout Michigan. The program places 425-450 STEM students into STEM-focused internships throughout Michigan annually. Learn more at https://annarborusa.org/jobs/stem-forward/.
Additionally, through its Industry 4.0 initiative, MEDC is working in partnership with Automation Alley and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center to ensure that the state’s manufacturers are prepared to adopt new and innovative technologies to remain competitive well into the future. This effort also fosters high-wage skills growth in target industries such as advanced manufacturing, further securing continued opportunity and stability for Michigan’s manufacturing workforce for years to come.
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.
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