Speedrack creates 164 new manufacturing jobs at a $ 64.5 million facility in West Michigan
KENT COUNTY, MI – A manufacturer of pallet shelving and warehouse infrastructure is expected to create 164 new jobs at a proposed $ 64.5 million facility in Walker.
Sparta-based Speedrack Products Group broke ground on Monday June 21 for their new manufacturing facility and headquarters in an industrial park on Northridge Drive. Governor Gretchen Whitmer attended the event along with a number of other local and state officials.
“Speedrack Products’ investment in Walker will create critical jobs in our manufacturing sector and help us continue our economic start and get Michigan back to work,” said Whitmer.
“This new facility strengthens Speedrack’s presence in West Michigan and underscores the importance of our state’s talented production workers. With the help of companies like Speedrack, we can build our country’s economy stronger than ever. “
Speedrack makes storage racks and shelves that are similar to those found in Home Depot’s retail space. Walker was selected over locations in Indiana and Illinois. The estimated $ 64.5 million facility will have 275,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
Speedrack is currently headquartered in Sparta, has two other locations in Michigan, Quincy and Litchfield, and employs nearly 300 people. The company has been in business for more than 60 years and relocated its headquarters to Sparta in 1989. In 2002, the company relocated all manufacturing outside of the state to Michigan.
The expansion is intended to partially meet the growing demand from online retailers such as Amazon, GAP and Chewy, who have huge shipping warehouses and are Speedrack customers. The company also serves Ford, Meijer, GM, Medline, Caterpillar and the furniture industry.
“Our customers, particularly those in the e-commerce industry, have seen significant revenue growth over the past few years and Speedrack has invested and grown to support that growth,” said Eric Quist, President of Speedrack. “We realized that we need to expand our manufacturing presence in order to continue to meet this new demand.”
Quist said the company expects the new facility to be operational by the end of March 2022.
The hiring of the new 164 employees is slated to begin later this year and continue through early 2022, with officials from the Michigan Statewide Carpenters and Millwrights Skilled Training Center in Wayland helping with the recruitment effort, he said.
People can learn more about careers at Speedrack on this website: https://apply.speedrack.site/.
Hourly wages for white-collar workers are around $ 30 to $ 32 an hour for skilled workers, $ 25 an hour for welders, and $ 22 an hour for general workers.
In two years, according to Quist, the company plans to hire around 100 more employees.
In the course of the relocation of the headquarters from Sparta to Walker, around 40 existing Group employees will move into the new plant, plus around 15 to 20 additional employees.
Quist thanked Right Place and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for helping the company grow in West Michigan. The Right Place worked with Speedrack, the MEDC and Walker to ensure the company expanded in the region, not outside of the state.
Incentives include a performance-based grant from the Michigan Business Development Program of $ 820,000 from the MEDC and a 12-year tax break for setting up Walker. The tax relief halves the facility’s property tax during this period.
“This is a significant win for the Greater Grand Rapids region and yet another indication of the health and strength of our business environment,” said Randy Thelen, President and CEO of Right Place. “Our regional economy is deeply rooted in manufacturing and Speedrack’s decision to expand its presence in our region is a testament to the resilience and continued prosperity of the industry.”
Former Walker Mayor and City Commissioner of the State Mark Huizenga, R-Walker, said the groundbreaking Monday and events like this give him “renewed hope” in the American dream.
“As a state official, attending these events gives me new hope for the American Dream because you know that behind each of the 150+ faces that will work at this facility, those faces belong to families,” said Huizengaga. “Someone’s mother or father will work here for the family to provide food, clothing, or shelter – the American dream.”
Huizenga pledged to continue pushing for government funding to realign the entry and exit ramps on I-96 near the industrial park along Northridge, as well as a bridge replacement that will make it easier for employers to settle there and serve the community “for” will serve for decades. “
Walker Mayor Gary Carey called Speedrack a welcome addition to the city’s “thriving and rapidly growing industrial area”.
“We are very excited to welcome Speedrack and its employees to Walker,” said Carey. “Their decades of successful experience with tailor-made solutions for the needs and challenges of their customers fits in with the way in which the City of Walker works with its companies and residents.”
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