Three Business Expansions Bring 165 New Jobs to Lexington, Ithaca & Standish

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Projects expected to generate a total capital investment of $17.6 million have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund.


  • Longstanding pickled products manufacturer Gielow Pickles expanding in the village of Lexington, adding 100 jobs
  • Milk transport tanker manufacturer Trinity Truck and Trailer Service investing at its headquarters in Ithaca, creating 100 jobs
  • Material handling equipment manufacturer Magline expanding operations in Standish, investing $875,000


LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced three business expansion projects expected to create a total of 165 new jobs and generate a total capital investment of $17.6 million have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The projects are in Lexington, Ithaca and Standish. 

“Today’s investments will create 165 good-paying jobs and invest more than $17 million into small communities around the state, building on our economic momentum,” said Governor Whitmer. “I applaud these three companies for their decision to invest here in Michigan. Let’s keep working together to win projects that bring good-paying jobs to every region of the state. Together, we will keep growing our economy, helping businesses expand, and building a bright future for Michigan.” 

“The decisions by these companies to expand in Michigan highlight the strength of our future agribusiness and manufacturing industries, and further demonstrate Team Michigan’s commitment to delivering long-term economic growth for all Michiganders in communities of all sizes,” said MEDC Sr. Vice President of Regional Prosperity Matt McCauley. “We are grateful to the Governor, legislators and local partners for their continued support of our efforts. These projects reflect our commitment to seizing opportunities that make Michigan 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 win projects, invest in places and support our people as we encourage businesses of all sizes to make it in Michigan.” 

Gielow Pickles, Inc., a fifth-generation manufacturer of refrigerated and shelf stable products, is expanding in the village of Lexington.  

A leading producer of pickles, peppers, sauerkraut and various types of relish products, the company currently employs 172 Michiganders. Gielow Pickles continues to gain new customers as well as receive increased orders from its current customer base. As a result of this growth, the company is planning an expansion at its operations in the village of Lexington, where it will construct an additional facility for production, refrigeration, fermentation, grading and packaging.  

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $10 million and create 100 jobs with the support of a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The company chose Michigan for the project over competing sites in Florida and Washington due to its dedicated workforce and the local working relationships it has secured over the years. 

“We are very grateful to MEDC and the state of Michigan for helping us in our expansion plans,” said Gielow Pickles Vice President Craig Gielow. “We feel Michigan is a great state to do business in.  These MEDC funds will be very helpful in our ability to expand our facility for needed production, storage, and other related agricultural functions.  This expansion will allow us to add more jobs and add more agricultural growth of additional tonnage for crops of cucumbers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, cherry peppers, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower right here in Michigan. Along with growth in other Michigan business partners being sugar from Michigan Sugar, Michigan Salt from Cargill, and Michigan Vinegar from Mizkan all building Michigan jobs and Michigan agriculture.  For five generations we have been making top quality pickles in Michigan and we plan to be here now for generations to come.” 

The project will further boost Michigan’s agribusiness industry and bring immediate good jobs to the area, and will solidify the company’s presence and future business in the state. Gielow Pickles provides full benefits to its employees, including medical insurance, paid leave, and tuition assistance. 

The Sanilac Region Economic Consortium has committed to assisting the company with finding and recruiting talent and assisting with housing initiatives that will result in additional housing options for workforce in the community. Information on careers with Gielow Pickles can be found here



Trinity Truck and Trailer Service, LLC, a leading manufacturer of milk transport tankers and mechanical repair facility is planning a two-phased expansion its headquarters facility in the city of Ithaca

The first phase of the project will allow Trinity to pursue opportunities in the production of milk stainless steel storage silo manufacturing, pasteurization, and other hygienically designed equipment. Currently, Michigan’s agribusiness operations rely on out-of-state suppliers for storage silos. Production of storage silos in Michigan will allow the state’s dairy producers to source their silos from within the state, resulting in a cost savings. The second phase of the project will include the renovation of the company’s existing repair service facility.  

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $6.75 million and create 55 jobs with the support of a $192,500 Micro Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The project will further boost Michigan’s agribusiness industry and bring immediate good jobs with a growing manufacturer, with the possibility of future investment and growth in Michigan. 

“Trinity Truck and Trailer Service has been a proud member of the Ithaca community since 2018,” said Trinity Truck and Trailer Owner and Manager Ron Lupa. “We specialize in truck and trailer repair and the manufacturing of tanker trailers for dairy, fertilizer, and other non-coded tanks. We are proud of our team's hard work and accomplishments to keep the trucks and trailers of the community and surrounding areas running safely. With growing business we will be expanding and incorporating vertical storage tanks and silos for the dairy industry into our line of work. The assistance from the MEDC will help in this endeavor. We look forward to the new job and business opportunities this will provide to the community.” 

The city of Ithaca has offered a 50-percent property tax abatement in support of the project. Information on careers with Trinity Truck and Trailer can be found here. 

“Trinity's expansion project will have far-reaching positive impacts on the agricultural and transportation industry in Michigan and throughout the country,” said Greater Gratiot Development Inc. President James E. Wheeler. “It is exciting to see Trinity grow and expand in Ithaca, Michigan.” 

In 2020, Michigan ranked sixth in the U.S. for milk production. Michigan’s dairy industry provides jobs, employing local veterinarians, equipment dealers, and farm employees. One dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. Michigan has about 900 dairy farm families who care for more than 445,000 cows. The average dairy herd in Michigan has about 300 cows. Ninety-seven percent of Michigan dairy farms are family owned, many by multiple generations of the same family. In 2020, Michigan ranked sixth in milk production in the U.S. Dairy cows in Michigan produced 11.6 billion pounds of milk. The average Michigan cow produces more than 27,000 pounds of milk each year, or more than 3,100 gallons of milk. (Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Trinity and Gielow’s investments further build on the state’s ongoing support of its robust agribusiness industry, including support for WK Kellogg Co’s expansion in Battle Creek, where it will invest $44 million and create at least 43 new high-paying jobs, in addition to retaining 170 roles. In November, Walinga USA announced it was expanding in Wayland, where it will expand its production of pneumatic transportation systems and feed trailers for the livestock and agriculture industry. The project is expected create 31 jobs. In May, the MSF approved support for the Dairy Distillery project, a new dairy processing facility in the village of Constantine that will reduce the carbon footprint of dairy byproduct and bring new jobs and infrastructure to the community. The project, a joint venture by Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) and Dairy Distillery USA., is expected to generate a total capital investment of $41.1 million and create 12 well-paying jobs. 

“Today's announcement from Gielow Pickles and Trinity Truck & Trailer Service showcases why Michigan is a destination for food and agriculture opportunities. These investments will create 155 new good-paying jobs for Michiganders,” said Tim Boring, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “Michigan's food and agriculture industry is a prime area for investment as we continue to grow and create new economic opportunities. With ongoing support from Governor Whitmer, we will continue to attract companies while diversifying and strengthening our food and agriculture sector.” 

The Micro Michigan Business Development Program is designed to promote business growth, especially in rural areas or areas with high unemployment as well as target industries. The MMBDP 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. 

Magline, Inc., a manufacturer of durable, heavy-duty hand trucks, carts, and dollies used in the automotive, logistics, packaging, and food and beverage industries, is expanding near its headquarters in the city of Standish

Magline is experiencing increased customer demand and plans to expand into a vacant 70,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its current headquarters. The company plans to renovate the facility to accommodate additional manufacturing, warehousing and distribution space, allowing the company to serve additional customers and continue to grow its fleet service network. 

The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $875,000 and create 10 jobs with the support of a $100,000 Micro Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The company chose Michigan for the project over competing sites in other states because of the many established working relationships and dedicated core of staff it has in Michigan. 

“Magline has called Michigan home since 1947! Our team, located in Standish, has been building the #1 brand of hand trucks in the US for over 75 years – Magliner,” said Magline President and COO Greg Ecker. “We’re proud of the contributions our Team has made to our local community, and the MEDC support will continue to help us further grow to support the Michigan economy. Thank You Brenda Flory, this would not have happened without your commitment and passion to sponsor this initiative.” 

The project will bring good-paying jobs to a geographically disadvantaged area of the state and will position the company for future growth and investment in Michigan. The city of Standish has offered to support the project with completing and expediting any applications needed. Information on careers with Magline can be found here. 

“The city of Standish fully supports Magline’s planned expansion project and value the existing retained and future jobs to be created,” said Standish City Manager Bradley Mason. “Based on the historical growth of the business locally and existing industry opportunities, we believe Magline will continue to proper in their expanded Standish location. The city of Standish looks forward to a continued relationship with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and is committed to working closely with Magline, Inc. and our Arenac County partners to continue to bring economic growth and stability to our region.”  


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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