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Gov.Whitmer announces business expansion that will generate $34 million

Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 16:26:27-04

CALHOUN, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer in tandem with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced two business expansion projects that will create roughly 77 jobs and produce over $34 million in Benton Harbor Township and Battle Creek.

“Today’s investments in Battle Creek and Benton Harbor Township creating 77 advanced manufacturing jobs will help us continue growing Michigan’s economy and helping working families thrive,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The businesses making these investments received support from the bipartisan Michigan Strategic Fund, one of several economic development tools that we worked across the aisle to establish. When we put Michiganders first, we can invest in our talented manufacturing workforce and help innovative businesses grow.”

Duncan Aviation is expanding to maintain its market share and will start in Battle Creek facility with the addition of one hangar, three support buildings, and a new car maintenance building. Officials report the project will generate a total capital investment of more than $30 million and create at least 61 high-wage jobs, supported by a $488,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

“At Duncan Aviation, we are excited to expand on over twenty-four years of success in Michigan. This new facility will provide dozens of career opportunities for members of our local community and opportunities for advancement by our existing team members,” said Duncan Aviation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Andy Richards. “We appreciate the ongoing support from the state of Michigan and the city of Battle Creek. We couldn't ask for better partners.”

Bulk Ag Innovations LLC, dba West Michigan Tool & Die [] (WMTD), is a contract tool and die shop in Benton Harbor Township. The company is primarily engaged in manufacturing special tools and fixtures for use with machine tools, die-casting machines and presses. Through its acquisition by Bulk Ag Innovations in 2018, the company has achieved minority business enterprise certification through the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and is gaining new opportunities in defense contracts. Currently, WMTD has 15 employees in Michigan.

Due to increased demand, Bulk Ag Innovations LLC, dba West Michigan Tool & Die (WMTD) is developing its existing location in Benton Harbor Township by adding a bay and reconfiguring its machining building authorities report.

Officials report the project will generate a total capital investment of $3.4 million and create 22 jobs, supported by a $88,000 Micro Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing site in Chicago.

“The decisions by Duncan Aviation and West Michigan Tool & Die to expand in Michigan highlight the strength of our state’s talented workforce and advanced manufacturing ecosystem, while further demonstrating our commitment to providing long-term economic growth for all Michiganders,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. ““This project is a win for the entire state. We are grateful to the Governor and legislators for the continued support of the Michigan Business Development Program.  These projects reflect our commitment to working with our partners to ensure 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.”