Posted in News on January 09, 2019

01/09/2019 -ZEELAND, Mich. –West Michigan Lakeshore employers experienced significant growth in 2018. Lakeshore Advantage, the local non-profit economic development organization that assists primary employers with growth opportunities and in overcoming obstacles to growth, supported 27 business expansion projects in Allegan and Ottawa counties last year.

“Lakeshore Advantage is honored to come alongside a diverse base of primary employers that sustains our region’s economic vitality through expansion project support,” said Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage President. “Our region continues to be a great place to work, play, learn and grow a business, and this expansion activity throughout Allegan and Ottawa counties, in various industries and jurisdictions, demonstrates the depth of opportunities available for those who choose West Michigan.”

These 27 projects represent $235 million in private investment and the creation of over 750 jobs. In 2017, Lakeshore Advantage assisted with 18 expansion projects, resulting in over $90 million in private investment and 650 new jobs. Primary employer private investment has more than doubled from last year to this year.

One growing employer supported last year by Lakeshore Advantage is Zeeland Township- based AllRout Inc., a company that specializes in routing projects for automotive packaging, furniture components and more. Their $511,801 expansion investment includes a 10,000 square foot addition to their existing facility and created six new jobs.

“We have experienced significant growth in 2018, which has resulted in nearly doubling the size of our current building and increasing our workforce by 40 percent,” said Jeff Robinson, President of AllRout, Inc. “We have done this by partnering with some of West Michigan's finest manufacturing companies to leverage each other’s strengths to compete with out-of-state and out-of-country competitors.”

Dutch Treat Foods, a Zeeland Township-based company that supplies handcrafted, fresh food products, is another employer that expanded in 2018. Their $579,222 investment includes a build-out of 12,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehousing space into an existing facility, and created six jobs. Lakeshore Advantage connected the growing company to Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). The company was able to secure an additional $60,000 performance-based grant through MDARD, to be used for automated packaging equipment.

“We were honored to partner with Lakeshore Advantage and the Michigan Department of Agriculture in obtaining a grant for a new automated packaging line,” says Scott Brookens, President of Dutch Treat Foods. “These organizations are working hard to ensure the agriculture industry in Michigan continues to thrive and we could not be more excited to be working with them in this endeavor.”

For a list of our Year End Projects, click HERE