The Michigan Strategic Fund approved an incentive for Irwin Seating Company that will bring 60 new jobs and $1.9 million in new investment to Walker, Michigan. The City of Walker was also supportive of the project and is considering the approval of a local P.A. 198 tax abatement to further assist in the expansion.
Founded in 1908, Irwin Seating Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of public seating for movie theatres, auditoriums, arenas, performing arts centers, and convention centers. The $300,000 performance-based grant from the MSF will provide support for Irwin Seating Company to complete a strategic expansion project at the company’s current location at 3251 Fruit Ridge NW in Walker.
As part of the expansion, Irwin Seating will repurpose 50,000 square feet of existing manufacturing space to support the production of a new recliner product offering for the cinema market. This new product line is a strategic growth opportunity for the company. In addition to building renovations, Irwin Seating Company will invest in new machinery, equipment, and training for newly hired employees.
“Irwin Seating Company was built in West Michigan, and we are proud to be reinvesting in the community that has grown with us,” said Win Irwin, President/CEO, Irwin Seating Company. “We are particularly grateful that the Right Place and the State of Michigan were willing to partner with us on this exciting opportunity.”
“Irwin Seating Company and the Irwin family have long been part of West Michigan’s manufacturing and economic growth history. We are pleased to see the company continue to grow, innovate, and reinvest in the region,” said Birgit Klohs, President/CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “This expansion project further demonstrates the manufacturing sector’s continued growth in West Michigan.”
Irwin Seating Company operates two manufacturing facilities in North America, one in Grand Rapids, Michigan and another in Altamont, Illinois. The company currently employs over 400 people, with 287 employees located in Walker. In addition to the North American operations, Irwin Seating Company operates direct sales offices in Canada and the Middle East.
“Irwin Seating Company, a leader in seating manufacturing, has been based in Walker since 1968. The City of Walker is proud to have global manufacturers like Irwin based in our city,” said Walker Mayor Mark Huizenga. “Irwin Seating Company is not just a great company and a provider of jobs, but also a community minded organization. We are proud to see their commitment continue to grow in Walker and in the great State of Michigan.”