A design + talent win for Michigan

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It isn’t the biggest economic development project ever, but the Newell Rubbermaid announcement is worth highlighting because of the impressive win it provides under Michigan’s strategy to emphasize its talent and engineering strengths in its business development program.

Newell Rubbermaid announced late last month that it will open a design and innovation facility in Kalamazoo, MI, where the firm will consolidate its product and graphic design capabilities.  Newell Rubbermaid “is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products with a portfolio of leading brands, including Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Grace, Calphalon Paper Mate and Irwin.”

The company will invest $2.3 million in a new 40,000 SF facility that is expected to open in early 2014 and create up to 100 design jobs, most of which will be consolidated from several other locations.  Salaries are estimated to range from $70,000-$90,000. 

Incentives include a $2 million Michigan Business Development performance grant, a $4 million facility constructed by Southwest Michigan First, and $164,000 in tax abatements from the city of Kalamazoo.

The facility will be located in Western Michigan University’s Business Technology and Research Park.   Locating near Western Michigan University was a critical factor in selecting Kalamazoo for “its rich pool of design talent, close partnerships between education and business and outstanding quality of life.”

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