Two Business Expansions bring 130 New Jobs to Branch, Mecosta Counties

Thursday, August 3, 2023

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today to announce two business expansion projects expected to create a total of 130 new jobs and generate a total capital investment of nearly $10 million have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The projects are in the cities of Bronson and Big Rapids.

“Today’s investments will create 60 good-paying jobs and invest nearly $10 million into communities in Northwest and South Michigan, building on our economic momentum,” said Governor Whitmer. “Our economic development efforts have helped us bring manufacturing jobs home and created opportunities for Michiganders in every corner of our state. Let’s keep working together to win projects that bring good-paying, high-skill jobs home so everyone, in any community, can ‘make it’ in Michigan. Together, we will continue sending a clear message that Michigan is open for business.”

“The decisions by these companies to expand in Michigan highlight the strength of our automotive and advanced manufacturing industries, and further demonstrate Team Michigan’s commitment to delivering long-term economic growth for all Michiganders,” said MEDC Sr. Vice President of Regional Prosperity Matt McCauley. “These projects are wins for the entire state. We are grateful to the Governor, legislators of both parties and local officials for their continued support of our efforts. These investments reflect our commitment to ensuring that Michigan becomes an even better place for each of our 10 million-plus friends and neighbors to live, work, visit, play, and create futures. We will continue working to earn investments and support our people as we encourage businesses of all sizes to make it in Michigan.”


Madsen Steel Wire Products, LLC, headquartered in Orland, Indiana, specializes in the production of custom wire forms, fabricated wire products, and metal parts for commercial restaurants, grocery retailers, automotive manufacturers, industrial, and lawn and garden industries. The company does not currently have a presence in Michigan.

Madsen is experiencing increasing demands from its customers and plans to purchase an existing, long-vacant facility in the city of Bronson. The facility has 100,000 square feet of space that will allow the company to expand its manufacturing capabilities. In addition, the company is considering the purchase of a seven-acre lot adjacent to the facility to allow for future anticipated expansion.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $6.9 million and create 70 jobs with the support of a $552,000 Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP) performance-based grant. The company chose Michigan over a competing site in Indiana due to the ease of collaboration and proximity of the Bronson site to the company headquarters in Indiana.

“Michigan has been an outstanding partner in growing USA Manufacturing by reinvesting in the local community. Madsen Steel Wire Products is excited to expand its manufacturing floor space [by] 100,000 square feet to handle our fast growth,” said Drew Greenblatt, president of Madsen Steel. “Bronson is an ideal community to raise a family and grow a business. We are enthusiastic about hiring local new teammates so we can build in Michigan and export our wire racks and grates and point of purchase display products all over the world.”



The project will bring immediate job growth with an expanding manufacturing company to the region and repurpose a facility that has been vacant for 15 years. Madsen offers full benefits and supports the growth of its employees by offering on-the-job training. The company will utilize Michigan Works! To reach underrepresented employees and local talent in disadvantaged areas.

The city of Bronson anticipates approval of a property tax abatement in support of the project and is selling the adjacent property to the company for $1 per acre. For information on careers with Madsen Steel Wire Products, visit

“We are thrilled to see Madsen Steel joining the Branch County community by investing in one of Bronson’s key industrial sites and creating new jobs,” said Branch County Economic Growth Alliance Director Audrey Tappenden. “We look forward to celebrating their successes and continuing to partner with their thoughtful and responsive leadership team.”

”We are thrilled to welcome Madsen Steel to the city of Bronson,” said Bronson City Manager Brandon M. Mersman. “By adding new jobs and injecting vital funds into our local economy, this partnership is a significant step forward for Bronson. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact Madsen Wire will bring to our residents, workforce, and overall quality of life.

“Madsen Steel’s commitment to excellence aligns perfectly with Bronson’s values, as we strive to create a business-friendly environment that supports innovation, drives economic growth, and secures long-term prosperity for all residents. With their cutting-edge wire manufacturing technologies and proven industry expertise, Madsen Steel is poised to make a lasting impact on our region.”

Big Rapids Products, Inc., headquartered in Big Rapids, supplies metal stampings and assemblies for the auto industry as well as the appliance manufacturing, solar, aerospace, agricultural, and food service sectors. The company currently employs 301 Michigan residents.

Big Rapids Products has experienced increased demand and significant growth in business from its customer base and plans to construct a new facility in Big Rapids that will add warehousing capacity, freeing up space in its existing facilities that will be used for additional manufacturing.

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $3 million and create 60 jobs with the support of a $480,000 Micro Michigan Business Development Program (MMBDP) performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing site in Kentucky due to the synergy and ease of collaboration it would create within the company’s existing three locations in Big Rapids. The project supports the state’s work to position itself as the global leader in the future of mobility and automotive manufacturing. The project will also impact the region with immediate job growth with a large and expanding manufacturing supplier and solidify the company’s presence and future business in the state.

The city of Big Rapids has offered of a 50-percent property tax abatement in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Big Rapids Products should visit

The MMBDP is designed to promote business growth, especially in rural areas or areas with high unemployment as well as target industries. The program provides grants, loans, or other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that have fewer job creation numbers than required by the original MBDP guidelines.

“Big Rapids Products wants to thank the MEDC for their support for the state and local incentive packages,” said John J. Chaput, president of Big Rapids Products. “Big Rapids Products is very excited for the continuous growth at our Michigan facilities.”

“We are thrilled by Big Rapids Products’ decision to remain and grow in their namesake city,” said Mecosta County Development Corporation (MCDC) Executive Director Kelly Wawsczyk. “Their $3 million investment is sure to make an impact and will help us become a more prosperous community. We’re happy that the MCDC and The Right Place could help them in their journey, and we look forward to seeing them grow.”

“It is great that Big Rapids Products has chosen to expand in their hometown, and we are delighted by the added employment for the Big Rapids area,” said Big Rapids Mayor Fred Guenther. “The city of Big Rapids will do whatever we can to help business and industry grow.”

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 For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.