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Germany-Based Swoboda To Expand Its Kentwood, Michigan, Manufacturing Complex

A Germany-based company that develops and manufactures high-precision metal-plastic components for automobile electronics, Swoboda plans to expand at its current production plant in Kentwood, Michigan. The company will undergo a 25,000 sq. ft. addition that will enhance its manufacturing and engineering capabilities.

The company expects to bring 37 new high-tech jobs and $15.1 million in new investment to western region of The Great Lakes State. Swoboda currently plans to begin construction on the expansion in Spring 2016 with completion coming by late Fall.

The $200,000 performance-based, high-tech Michigan Strategic Fund grant will provide support for the company’s expansion and continued investment. In addition, the city of Kentwood is considering the approval of a local PA 198 Property Tax Abatement for Swoboda’s capital investment.

To support with talent recruitment, hiring and training, West Michigan Works! offered $113,000 in workforce development funding as the company begins its hiring process. The organization is prepared to assist with a variety of assistance services, from pre-hire screening to on-the-job training programs.

Swoboda is a well-established automotive manufacturing supplier in West Michigan, however the company continues to experience increased pressures from competition overseas and in Mexico, according to The Right Place, a regional non-profit economic development organization.

“Since our start in Grand Rapids back in 1997, we have experienced continued growth and success,” said John Fuhs, Vice President of Sales and Engineering, Swoboda Inc. “Our presence here is a critical role in Swoboda’s global strategy. The support and assistance we have received from The Right Place and other organizations in the area make West Michigan an ideal place to grow our business.”

To ensure Swoboda’s expansion and investment happened in West Michigan, The Right Place assembled a team of state and local resources, including the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, West Michigan Works!, the city of Kentwood, and others, to provide the support the company needed to remain competitive.

“We located Swoboda’s first U.S. facility in West Michigan 19 years ago. Today, the company has grown into a significant business and job provider in the area,” said Birgit Klohs, President/CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “This is why we are so dedicated to our existing companies in the region. We work to ensure companies like Swoboda continue to grow here, invest here, and create jobs here in our community.”

“West Michigan Works! is dedicated to creating a qualified workforce for our region,” said Deb Lyzenga, Regional Director of Business Solutions for West Michigan Works! “We have worked with Swoboda on a variety of projects focused on upskilling its workforce, as well as developing the pipeline of future talent. We are excited to be a part of this expansion project.”

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