One Way Products sweeps the Southwest Michigan jobs market

Published on August 10, 2016
Oshtemo Township, MI – One Way Products has announced the creation of 10 new jobs and a $3,400,000 investment in Oshtemo Township. Last night, the township approved a 12-year tax abatement, allowing the project to move forward with its groundbreaking on KL Avenue, which is scheduled for today.

The specialty chemical company’s new headquarters will be a 30,000-square-foot facility, encompassing manufacturing, warehouse/distribution and office facility functions. The investment will also bring in new equipment for the space.

One Way Products focuses its product lines to “achieve clean,” offering products such as disinfectants, hand sanitizers and sponges through its Clean Shop™ operations. Through its ChemStation™ division, the company offers businesses custom-made cleaning chemicals, serviced to remove hazards of handling or spills. Founded in 1971, One Way Products is committed to environmentally-friendly, biodegradable formulas.

“We are excited to see One Way Products expand its operations in Kalamazoo,” said Ron Kitchens, president and chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First. “As Southwest Michigan First believes the greatest force for change is a job, we are glad to hear that 10 families in the region will have the opportunity to be impacted by the growth of One Way Products.”

TecNiq lights up the Southwest Michigan jobs market

Published on July 6, 2016
Kalamazoo, MI – TecNiq Inc. has announced the creation of 120 new jobs and a $6,596,000 investment in Comstock Township. Today, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $540,000 Michigan Business Development Program Performance-Based Grant to assist the LED lighting specialist with its planned expansion in Kalamazoo County.

The company will build a 100,000-square-foot facility to support exponential growth it has experienced over the last three years, during which it has increased sales by almost 35%. Headquartered in Richland, Michigan, the LED lighting manufacturer anticipates continued growth over the next three to five years to meet increased consumer demand.

Founded in 2004, TecNiq moved its headquarters to Richland, Michigan in 2012. The company offers a unique product that is well-regarded for its quality and provides its customers with a lifetime guarantee. The LED lighting products manufactured by the company are among the most energy efficient in the market, which is why the company has earned significant business from customers, including UPS and several key RV manufacturers.

“We applaud the TecNiq team for expanding its footprint in Kalamazoo County with the addition of this new 100,000-square-foot facility,” said Ron Kitchens, president and chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First. The regional economic development organization worked with TecNiq to make the expansion happen in Southwest Michigan rather than in competing locations. “Our organization operates based upon the belief that the greatest force for change is a job and we have no doubt that 120 families in the region will greatly appreciate the positive change afforded by this project.”

The Monroe-Brown Internship Program announces 35 summer internships in Southwest Michigan!

Published on January 12, 2016
KALAMAZOO, Michigan – The Monroe-Brown Internship Program, a partnership between Southwest Michigan First and the Monroe-Brown Foundation, announces its 2016 summer college internships. This year’s 35 internships will be hosted by 31 local Southwest Michigan companies and include opportunities in engineering, information technology, business development, interior design, human resources, marketing, winemaking and financial management – to name a few.

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

Published on September 23, 2015
KALAMAZOO, Michigan – Presented annually by Southwest Michigan First, Catalyst University announces it is now accepting applications for its 2nd annual Makers’ Mart competition. Taking place on January 28, 2016 at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, Catalyst University is Southwest Michigan’s premier leadership conference. The winning maker of the Catalyst University Makers’ Mart competition will receive $2,500 in cash plus $2,500 worth of legal, marketing and accounting consultations.

Southwest Michigan First Launches Speaker Lineup for Catalyst University 2016

Published on August 19, 2015
KALAMAZOO, Michigan – Southwest Michigan First has launched the speaker lineup for Catalyst University 2016 to be held on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo. On that date, more than 2,000 leaders will gather for Southwest Michigan’s premier, one-day leadership event to be inspired by top thought leaders who have made an impact by pursuing their passions in business, education, government, not for profit and the faith-based community.

Southwest Michigan First launches regional internship portal to keep talent local

Published on June 23, 2015
KALAMAZOO, MI – Southwest Michigan First announces the launch of its new internship web portal:, a one-stop source for employers and students to post and find internship, apprenticeship, fellowship and co-op positions throughout the Southwest Michigan Region.

The Shovel Will Hit the Dirt in White Pigeon as Forest River Manufacturing Breaks Ground on New Site

Published on May 6, 2015
WHITE PIGEON, MI – On Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 9:00 am, Forest River Manufacturing will break ground on its future Michigan site to be located at 500 West Chicago Road, White Pigeon, MI 49099.

Southwest Michigan First to host Populus, a one-day event for community change-makers to get stuff done

Published on March 31, 2015
KALAMAZOO, MI – Southwest Michigan First will host its second annual Populus conference on May 1, 2015 in downtown Kalamazoo. Populus 2015 is a one-day event designed to foster collaboration and spur real change in the community as thought leaders, policy makers and engaged citizens work together to solve some of Southwest Michigan’s most critical issues.

Katie Perry and Tim Terrentine Named Top Young Economic Developers in Nation

Published on February 2, 2015
Palm Beach, Florida – Katie Perry, vice president, and Tim Terrentine, executive vice president, of Southwest Michigan First, have both been selected as winners in the economic development profession’s 40 Under 40 awards, the only award of its kind recognizing young talent in the economic development profession.

Southwest Michigan First was one of only two economic development organizations that had two winners selected.

400 jobs to be created by Forest River Manufacturing

Published on January 27, 2015
LANSING—Sen. John Proos on Tuesday applauded Forest River Manufacturing for their expansion and their plan to invest more than $7 million in a project to create nearly 400 jobs in White Pigeon.alamazoo Promise Institute, Communities in Schools, Warner Norcross and Judd, LLP, and Southwest Michigan First.