Kalamazoo Candle Company wins Catalyst University’s annual Makers’ Mart competition

Published on January 27, 2017
Kalamazoo, MI – Kalamazoo Candle Company earned the coveted Makers’ Mart title yesterday at Catalyst University, a daylong leadership event annually hosted by the regional economic development organization Southwest Michigan First at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo Candle Company was selected by the 2,500 event attendees from a pool of four finalists—all regional product makers based in Southwest Michigan.

The Monroe-Brown Internship Program announces 23 summer internships in Southwest Michigan!

Published on January 9, 2017
Kalamazoo, MI – The Monroe-Brown Internship Program, a partnership between Southwest Michigan First and the Monroe-Brown Foundation, announces its 2017 summer college internships. This year’s 23 internships will be hosted by 18 Southwest Michigan companies and include opportunities in engineering, financial planning, human resources, marketing, architecture, construction and product management – to name a few.

Stryker Corporation® Expands Southwest Michigan Footprint

Published on December 20, 2016
Portage, MI – Stryker Corporation’s (NYSE: SYK) instruments division plans to establish a new 485,000-square-foot facility in the city of Portage, investing more than $130 million and creating 105 jobs. The division is experiencing significant growth and the company needs an expanded facility to support a new corporate campus. The facility will likely feature a customer experience center, functioning showroom, R&D and bio-skills labs, as well as space for sales, marketing and support functions.

Sigma Machine Inc. adds new jobs in Southwest Michigan

Published on December 14, 2016
Comstock Township, MI – Locally owned manufacturer Sigma Machine Inc. has announced that it will significantly expand its existing footprint inside Midlink Business Park, adding 58 new jobs to Comstock Township.

A tier 1 supplier to Tesla Motors, Sigma Machine plans to invest $27,800,000 to complete this expansion. As a result of the 58 jobs this project will create, the Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant is awarding the company $350,000. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Wisconsin for this project.

mophie powers up new jobs in Southwest Michigan

Published on December 8, 2016
Texas Township, MI – A consumer electronics accessory company, mophie, LLC, has announced that it will expand in Texas Township, creating 65 new jobs. The number one selling battery case manufacturer in North America, mophie will invest $685,000 to complete this project, and has been awarded a $375,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant in support of the jobs being created. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Utah for this project.

Southwest Michigan First Recognized as OUTSIDE’s Top 3 Best Places to Work 2016

Published on November 17, 2016
Kalamazoo, MI – Southwest Michigan First has been named one of the Top 3 in OUTSIDE Magazine’s Best Places to Work of 2016. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious and prioritize giving back to the community. Created in conjunction with the Outdoor Industry Association and Best Companies Group, the list of winners appears online at www.BestPlacestoWorkOutside.com.

Southwest Michigan First’s Jill Bland and Carla Winchester Named Finalists in 13th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business

Published on October 20, 2016
Kalamazoo, MI – Jill Bland and Carla Winchester of Southwest Michigan First have been named Finalists in the categories of Female Executive of the Year and Female Innovator of the Year, respectively, in the 13th Annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business. On Friday, November 18, they will each ultimately be recognized as Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie Award winners in the program.

Metal Mechanics, Inc. builds up Southwest Michigan jobs

Published on October 5, 2016
Schoolcraft, MI – Equipment manufacturer Metal Mechanics, Inc. announced that it will bring 7 new jobs to Southwest Michigan through a $1,250,000 investment! After a public hearing on Tuesday, October 4 and approval from the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners, the growing Schoolcraft manufacturer is investing in a 30,000-square-foot building which will house and expand its existing operations.

Southwest Michigan First Opens Applications for the Catalyst Education Awards

Published on August 31, 2016
Kalamazoo, MI – Presented annually by Southwest Michigan First, Catalyst University is now accepting applications for its Catalyst Education Awards competition to recognize the innovations and achievements of our regional K-12 educators.

Southwest Michigan First’s Catalyst University Opens Applications for Makers’ Mart Competition

Published on August 30, 2016
Kalamazoo, MI – Presented annually by Southwest Michigan First, Catalyst University is now accepting applications for its 3rd annual Makers’ Mart competition, aimed at lifting up local entrepreneurs. Catalyst University, Southwest Michigan’s premier leadership conference, will take place on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. Makers’ Mart competition finalists will have the opportunity to present their products or services on stage at the event to compete for $2,500 cash plus $2,500 worth of legal, marketing and accounting consultations. The Makers’ Mart competition is sponsored by the WMU Haworth College of Business.