West Michigan has long been a major seat of manufacturing and innovation in the Midwest. With an engine of talent and knowledge pushing us through each industrial revolution, our community has adapted to the needs of the global economy and forged its own destiny.
In Grand Rapids, the manufacturing foundation was set with the furniture and automotive industries over a century ago. It's since grown to include biopharmaceuticals, metal manufacturing, and plastics. Names like Steelcase, Amway, Bissell, and Wolverine are just a few of those that have given the area international respect, but with about four out of every five manufacturers in West Michigan employing less than 250, small business is vital to the the area's commercial base as well.
Sustainable and steady growth is the mission of The Right Place, the economic development organization that bolsters West Michigan's businesses with the appropriate supply lines, resources, incentives, and more. The organization's concentration on manufacturing is no small undertaking, as it accounts for more than 20 percent of all the jobs in the area today. That's about 150,000 jobs, and as the Right Place continues to lead the way in promoting local manufacturing, that number is rising.