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Michigan Economic Development Corporation Announces Universal Forest Products Expansion Plans

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Jennifer Kopp

Company Bringing Manufacturing Operations to White Pigeon

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today that Universal Forest Products intends to expand its wood product manufacturing operations into White Pigeon, Michigan.The company plans to invest approximately $3 million in the expansion and create up to 105 net new jobs by 2005.

“Until now, Universal Forest Products had its headquarters in Michigan, but no manufacturing operations,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“The company’s decision to invest and create new jobs in southwest Michigan is a testament to the area’s workforce.”

An MEDC incentive package, including a Single Business Tax credit valued at approximately $852,000 over 10 years, convinced Universal Forest Products to expand its manufacturing operations into Michigan.The company intends to purchase and renovate four buildings (204,500 square feet total) on 88 acres in White Pigeon.

"The acquisition of the White Pigeon facility is necessary to facilitate the growth in our site-built markets in Indiana and Michigan,” said Dick McBride, vice president, Great Lakes Region.“This location will allow us to better serve our current customer base and positions us for future growth."

According to an economic analysis conducted by the University of Michigan, it is estimated that Universal Forest Product’s project will generate a total of 159 jobs in the state by 2012, including up to 105 directly by the company and 54 as a result of increased economic activity related to the project.

The project will provide an estimated $5.4 million in revenue to the state over the life of Single Business Tax credit, resulting in a net gain for the state of more than $4.6 million.The project is expected to generate more than $68 million in personal income during that time.

“In today's economy, it is a rare occasion when an economic developer can participate in a project that brings 100 new direct manufacturing jobs to a community and the indirect employment that follows,” said Bill Cotton, executive director of the St. Joseph County Economic Development Corporation.“It has been a pleasure to work with representatives of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Mottville Township, and Universal Forest Products in bringing this expansion to St. Joseph County.”

Universal Forest Products is a producer and supplier of premium wood products and structural lumber. The company’s headquarters in Grand Rapids employs approximately 132 workers.

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.

Universal Forest Products
Economic Analysis
Summary Estimated
(All estimates in 2002 dollars)

Revenue Foregone$852,000
Revenue Gain$5,492,000
Average Weekly Wage$482
Personal Income Generated Over
Life of the Tax Credit Agreement$ 68,649,000

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