LANSING, Mich. – Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce three business expansion projects expected to create a total of 150 new jobs and generate a total private investment of $30.4 million have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The projects are in Kalamazoo, Auburn Hills and Owosso.
“Today’s investments will create 150 good-paying jobs and invest over $30 million into communities across Michigan, building our economic momentum,” said Governor Whitmer. “Our economic development efforts have helped us bring manufacturing jobs and supply chains home, and created opportunities for Michiganders in their communities. Let’s keep working together to help businesses grow in Michigan, create paths to good-paying careers for Michiganders, and make our communities more attractive places to live and work.”
“The decisions by these companies to expand in Michigan highlight the strength of our advanced manufacturing and agribusiness ecosystem and further demonstrate Team Michigan’s commitment to delivering long-term economic growth for all Michiganders,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “These projects are wins for the entire state. We are grateful to the Governor, legislators of both parties, and local officials for their continued support of our efforts. These projects reflect our commitment to ensuring that Michigan becomes an even better place for each of our 10 million-plus friends and neighbors to live, work, visit, play, and create futures. Work remains ahead, yet we are grateful for the vote of confidence that continues to be shown in Team Michigan’s economic environment.”
FlavorSum expansion doubles Kalamazoo facility, creates 51 jobs
FlavorSum LLC provides flavor solutions for the food and beverage manufacturing industry, helping companies go to market quickly and cost-effectively with innovative solutions for delivering great-tasting products that inspire loyalty among consumers. The company currently employs 60 Michiganders at its facility in the city of Kalamazoo.
FlavorSum has begun construction on an expansion project that will add 35,000 square feet to its Kalamazoo facility. With the increased footprint, FlavorSum will build out more technical resources and capacity to meet the needs of small, mid-sized, and emerging food and beverage companies. The new facility will house production, warehousing operations, lab space, and specialized cooler space. Pilot plant and lab space within the new facility will support initiatives such as new equipment, improved shipping and receiving processes, and increased product storage.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $10 million and create 51 jobs with the support of a $500,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in the U.S. and Canada.
“Response to our solutions model and the growth of SME food and beverage brands led us to expand our capabilities in Kalamazoo,” said Brian Briggs, President and CEO of FlavorSum. “FlavorSum’s mission is to deliver the flexibility of a small supplier with the resources of a major flavor company. The additional space allows us to continue fulfilling our promise.”
The revamped facility and deepening technical expertise reflect FlavorSum’s resolve to maintain industry-leading growth rates. The project will further boost Michigan’s agribusiness industry and bring immediate good jobs to the area, with the possibility of leading to future investment and growth in Michigan.
“At FlavorSum, creating custom flavors that align with brand goals and consumer trends is only one aspect of our approach,” said Dave Franz, CRO. “We partner with our customers to offer a full suite of services designed to facilitate in-market success, from regulatory expertise and market insights to applications and scale-up support. A larger facility in Kalamazoo ensures we’re positioned to support our customers as they grow.”
The expansion plan aims to have the facility operating at full capacity in August 2023. Oshtemo Township has offered a 50 percent property tax abatement in support of the project. For information on careers with FlavorSum, visit flavorsum.com/careers.
In recognition of March being Food and Agriculture Month in Michigan, FlavorSum’s commitment further builds on the state’s ongoing support of its robust agribusiness industry, including support for the establishment of SnackCraft’s U.S. headquarters in Kentwood. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $41.75 million and create 185 jobs, supported by a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. In October 2022, the Michigan Strategic Fund awarded Muskegon County a $60 million Strategic Site Readiness Program performance-based grant for the Southeast Regional Force Main project impacting communities in Ottawa and Muskegon Counties. The infrastructure improvement project will boost Michigan’s agriculture industry and create up to 145 jobs, strengthening the state’s agriculture industry.
“MDARD, MEDC, and Governor Whitmer are working hard alongside our local economic development partners to ensure that Michigan is known as the place to be for food and agriculture businesses,” said Acting Director Kathy Angerer. “FlavorSum LLC is a great example of a business which has embraced innovation, investing in their community, and continues to grow.”
“I am pleased to see the collaboration between the Governor’s economic team and FlavorSum to double the size of its Kalamazoo facility” said State Senator Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo). “With this expansion FlavorSum will have the scale and the technology to be the go-to partner for emerging, small, and mid-sized food and beverage companies. It’s exciting to see a company like FlavorSum- that has been with the community from the beginning- benefit from a first mover advantage in their existing space as opposed to starting from scratch in another facility”.
“I am thrilled to learn of the MEDC’s investment in FlavorSum, LLC to expand resources for small and emerging food companies,” said State Rep. Christine Morse (D-Texas Township). “I am honored to represent a district that has a long history of providing excellent food products and values innovation in the food industry. It is businesses like these that support our diverse and growing economy.”
ABB Robotics expanding in Auburn Hills, creating 72 new jobs
ABB Robotics, a division of ABB Inc., is a leading robotic and advanced digital services company with 347 employees at its United States headquarters and manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills.
The company is currently executing a major expansion and renovation to its Auburn Hills campus, to be completed later this year. The enhanced robot manufacturing operation will feature an array of advanced manufacturing technologies that will be instrumental in onshoring more ABB robot manufacturing to the United States. This will allow ABB to better serve its customers throughout the Americas, with more than 90 percent of the robots delivered to these regions coming from the Michigan operation.
The project is expected to generate an initial capital investment in excess of $20 million and create 72 jobs, supported by a $450,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. ABB chose Michigan for the project over a competing site in Georgia due to Michigan’s automotive leadership.
“Our investment is a significant step in accelerating ABB Robotics’ global leadership in developing and manufacturing cutting -edge robotic solutions in the US, for the Americas,” said Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation. “As the global mega trends of labor shortages, uncertainty, the near and reshoring of production, and a desire to operate more sustainably accelerate, more businesses are turning to automation to build resilience while improving efficiency and flexibility. Our expanded facility will help us to better serve customers in the US and across the Americas, giving them access to innovative automated solutions.”
ABB supports the personal growth of its employees by offering cross training and offers opportunities for advancement from within. The company also utilizes Michigan Works! to reach local talent and partners with local universities, including Oakland University. The project will bring 72 advanced manufacturing jobs with a longstanding, growing supplier and builds on the state’s work to position itself as the global leader in the future of electrification and Industry 4.0 technologies.
Auburn Hills plans to offer expedited permits and electronic billboard advertising in support of the project. For information on careers with ABB, visit careers.abb/global/en/home.
“ABB’s initial investment at their current Auburn Hills location continues to build on Auburn Hills’ reputation as a great place to invest and do business. ABB has been in our community for over 35 years, and we are proud that they have chosen Auburn Hills over a competing site in Georgia to make their next strategic investment,” said Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin R. McDaniel. “This project will create 72 advanced manufacturing jobs, which will provide additional customer service support with expanded production of advanced robotics as well as EV charging equipment. We are incredibly grateful to ABB and their leadership team for choosing Auburn Hills and helping us to become the largest robotics footprint in the Unites States.”
“ABB has a successful 30-year history in Oakland County and it’s always gratifying to see a company reinforce its commitment by expanding its footprint even more in Auburn Hills,” said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “The investment that ABB is making to grow its robotic assembly operations will help ensure a bright future for the 72 new people the company will hire and cement Oakland County’s reputation as a prime location for advanced manufacturing.”
“I am excited for the Auburn Hills community to receive this investment that will create 72 jobs,” said State Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac). “Our community will greatly benefit from these good-paying jobs and from the investment ABB Inc. is providing.”
"I'm thrilled for the expansion of ABB Robotics in Auburn Hills creating 72 new jobs in our region. This investment will have a positive benefit in our community for years to come." - Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield)
Sonoco Protective Solutions expanding in Owosso, creating 27 jobs
Sonoco Protective Solutions is a subsidiary of Sonoco, a leading provider of consumer protective packaging components and material handling solutions. Sonoco was founded in 1899 and has more than 300 locations worldwide. Sonoco Protective Solutions manufactures protective solutions that prevent damage while also ensuring product integrity, serving customers in the pharmaceuticals, health and beauty care, powdered beverages, electrical, appliance, and automotive industries. The Sonoco Protective Solutions plant is located in the city of Owosso and has 102 full-time employees.
To support new business in Owosso, Sonoco plans to purchase new steam chest molding machines, lease new fork trucks, add air compressors, transition to a newer production data system, and update the boilers in its Owosso plant. The expansion will help meet the demand of current customers and provide the opportunity to secure new customers. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $450,000 and create 27 jobs with the support of a $162,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
“Our Sonoco team is excited to bring new business, equipment, and jobs to our Owosso plant,” said Sonoco Protective Solutions Plant Manager Tom Mims. “The city of Owosso, the county of Shiawassee, and the state of Michigan have all provided outstanding support over the years and continue to foster teamwork and cooperation. Thank you for supporting this grant and helping us bring more jobs to the great state of Michigan.”
Sonoco supports the personal growth and advancements of its employees by offering on-the-job training and cross training that leads to pay increases. The company utilizes Michigan Works! to reach local talent in disadvantaged areas and underrepresented employees and is diligent about offering these individuals training and future advancement opportunities. The project will bring immediate advanced manufacturing jobs with a large and growing manufacturer and could lead to future investment in Michigan.
“Sonoco is a highly successful global company, and we are excited and grateful for their continued commitment to create jobs and investment right here in Owosso and Shiawassee County,” said Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership President/CEO Justin Horvath.
"I am excited to see MEDC’s investment in expanding advanced manufacturing jobs in Shiawassee County,” said State Senator Sam Singh (D-East Lansing). “I look forward to seeing the impact that Sonoco Protective Solution’s expansion will have on the city of Owosso and surrounding communities."
Individuals interested in careers with the company should visit indeed.com and search for Sonoco.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.