900 Jobs Coming to West Michigan

Companies and CorporationsState BudgetsJobs and WorkplacePoliticsJob MarketWolverine World Wide Inc.Netherlands

More than 900 jobs are coming to West Michigan, everything from furniture to shoemakers. The state is dishing out millions of dollars in tax credits to compete with other states to bring them here.

It's bad news for Calgary, Canada but good news for West Michigan. Haworth's cutting 600 jobs there and adding up to 500 new jobs at their headquarters in Holland.

"We've been a very successful company but the economic times have really hit us hard, the industry's going to be down thirty percent and this is one of the things we have to do to stay competitive," said John Mooney of Haworth.

The company's looking to start hiring people within the next few months. Plus, they're able to cut down on transportation costs by keeping business in the area.

It's a similar situation for Wolverine World Wide based in Rockford. The shoe maker's shutting down a plant in Arkansas and adding close to 286 new jobs at their building in Big Rapids.

They're going to be hiring production workers, primarily to make military footwear, but those hires won't come all at once.

"It's going to be over three years, but you know we're still very glad that we're able to say hey, we're bringing jobs to the area and not taking them away," said Christi Cowdin of Wolverine World Wide.

Plus, another 35 jobs are coming to Mossberg Precision Diagnostics LLC, a startup health care manufacturing company, in Kalamazoo.

And another 88 jobs at the Bradford White Corporation. They make water heaters in Middleville and will be investing millions of dollars to make more environmentally friendly products.

It adds up to more than 900 new jobs. But those jobs comes at a big price. Altogether, the state's giving the four companies more than 26 million dollars in tax breaks to bring them here.

More than 900 people will be hired directly by these companies, but the Governor claims another 1,100 spin off jobs will be created as well.

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