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 Jim McKinney is joined by President & CEO, Southwest Michigan First, 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.

CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS: Southwest Michigan First makes impact nationally

Published on August 6, 2017
Kalamazoo-based Southwest Michigan First, an economic development nonprofit, has created a national footprint, despite its regional name.

When SWMF was founded 19 years ago, its mission was to provide economic development services to cities and towns in 17 counties in the southwest corner of the state. Since then, the organization has nurtured a national clientele through economic development and leadership conferences, private consulting and webinars. It also works to connect economic development agencies around the country with site-selection professionals looking for the right place to locate a business.

GRBJ: Mobile company investing $685K in operation

Published on December 9, 2016
A maker of accessories for mobile devices is expanding its operation in the region and creating 65 jobs in the process.

Mophie is expanding its distribution center in Texas Township, near Kalamazoo, at 6244 Technology Ave., investing $685,000 there and creating customer service-related jobs, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. or MEDC, today.

WKZO: The European Union, Southwest Michigan and Other Hot Topics

Published on July 6, 2016
Kalamazoo, Michigan — Southwest Michigan First president and ceo, Ron Kitchens joined WKZO to weigh in on hot topics like the European Union, Southwest Michigan economy.

TIME MAGAZINE: The Kalamazoo Promise is #145 of the 240 Reasons to Celebrate America

Published on June 30, 2016
TIME MAGAZINE, July 11, 2016, “240 Reasons to Celebrate America”

145. The city where high school grads go to college for free
by Josh Sanburn

When Doreisha Reed was in elementary school, she thought college was free for everyone. Her teachers spoke about it like it was an extension of high school, as if she had no other option but to attend. And when the teachers talked, they kept bringing up “the Promise.