WKZO: Southwest Michigan First Business Update

Published on August 9, 2018
KALAMAZOO (WKZO-AM/FM) — WKZO’s Ken Lanphear is joined by Southwest Michigan First’s senior partner & ceo, Ron Kitchens, to talk about regional job announcements, primary outcomes and civil discourse.

Listen here.

MLIVE: Group of millennials behind Kalamazoo event center proposal

Published on July 14, 2018
KALAMAZOO, MI — A Southwest Michigan First task force charged with finding solutions to attract young people to the region revived long-stalled plans for an events center in Kalamazoo.

The region’s economic development organization assembled civic and business leaders under the age of 35 last year. Southwest Michigan First CEO Ron Kitchens said the group was created to elevate the voices of the “next generation,” and members were picked through an informal nominating process.

Read the full article.

WKZO: Southwest Michigan First Business Update

Published on July 11, 2018
KALAMAZOO (WKZO-AM/FM) — WKZO’s Ken Lanphear is joined by Southwest Michigan First’s senior partner & ceo, Ron Kitchens, to talk about regional job announcements and infrastructure.

Listen here.

WOODTV.COM: Events center needed to revive downtown Kalamazoo

Published on July 10, 2018
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The pieces of the puzzle may be falling into place for an event center in downtown Kalamazoo.

Supporters, Kalamazoo County and Western Michigan University would have to all work together to make it a reality.

Watch now.

WWMT.COM: Backers of a new downtown events center say facility could be Kalamazoo’s crown jewel

Published on June 15, 2018
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Southwest Michigan First is behind the new push to build an arena in downtown Kalamazoo, several years after plans hit a standstill.

Watch now.

WKZO: Economic Outlook for Kalamazoo with Southwest Michigan First

Published on June 13, 2018
KALAMAZOO (WKZO-AM/FM) — WKZO’s Ken Lanphear is joined by Southwest Michigan First’s senior partner & ceo, Ron Kitchens, to talk about the hot economy and more as we enter summer 2018.

Listen here.

Western Michigan Focuses on Livability—and Millennials on the Move

Published on May 1, 2018
URBAN LAND MAGAZINE
By Nicole Bopp

Western Michigan—which includes Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland, and Kalamazoo—has a long history in agribusiness. The area is the nation’s top grower of blueberries, and since 1869, Kalamazoo-based A.M. Todd has been a global leader in natural mint extracts for the oral care, confectionary, food, and beverage industries. The region also leads the state in poultry, dairy, squash, and carrot production.

But the region also has rapidly growing life sciences clusters specializing in everything from medical equipment and surgical devices from Kalamazoo-based Stryker Corporation to over-the-counter health care supplies and infant formula from Allegan-based Perrigo Company. It also has a robust manufacturing sector, focused on metals, plastics, biopharmaceuticals, and automotive products, as well as office furniture, including three big names in furniture manufacturing—Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Haworth.

Read the full article.

SELECT Products Limited locks down site in Oshtemo Township

Published on April 16, 2018
SELECT Products Limited received final approval for its Brownfield plan which will enable the consolidation of its current operations in a newly constructed facility on property located at the end of Stadium Park Way in Oshtemo Township. The manufacturer of commercial continuous geared aluminum door hinges for the architectural hardware industry plans to invest $3 million in a new 42,000 to 50,000-square-foot facility. The rapidly growing company plans to relocate 30 employees from its current leased facility in Portage and add four more to its workforce. The new facility will accommodate light machining and assembly work, with the potential for future expansion including an aluminum anodizing facility.

SELECT Products Limited locks down site in Oshtemo Township

Published on January 17, 2018
SELECT Products Limited received final approval for its Brownfield plan which will enable the consolidation of its current operations in a newly constructed facility on property located at the end of Stadium Park Way in Oshtemo Township. The manufacturer of commercial continuous geared aluminum door hinges for the architectural hardware industry plans to invest $3 million in a new 42,000 to 50,000-square-foot facility. The rapidly growing company plans to relocate 30 employees from its current leased facility in Portage and add four more to its workforce. The new facility will accommodate light machining and assembly work, with the potential for future expansion including an aluminum anodizing facility.

WKZO: State will benefit from “Good Jobs” package

Published on August 10, 2017
KALAMAZOO (WKZO-AM/FM) — Southwest Michigan First says they expect Michigan will ultimately benefit from the recently-signed “Good Jobs for Michigan” bill package, despite the state losing out on a sprawling LCD plant to Wisconsin.