Regional economic development organization The Right Place, Inc., along with its local and state partners in the City of Grand Rapids have approved a Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) incentive that will bring 87 new jobs and $574,000 in new investment to Grand Rapids, MI over the next three years.
The incentive will help Phoenix, AZ-based Knight Transportation establish its first Michigan Logistics branch. The facility will house the company’s “Solutions team,” which is focused on leveraging all of Knight Transportation’s capabilities and technology to create an efficient high service solution for its customers. The Right Place worked in partnership with Indiana-based Ginovus to bring Knight Transportation to West Michigan.
“When selecting a site for our new office we felt it was important to locate in a city with a vibrant and growing economy that provides access to a highly skilled workforce,” said Mike McClelland, Senior Vice President, Knight Transportation. “The Grand Rapids community and surrounding area gives access to some of the most distinguished colleges and universities and also gives our employees a great place to live.”
Knight Transportation is one of North America’s largest and most diversified truckload transportation companies. Originated as a family owned business, the company today has over 5,000 associates in 24 states and 35+ branches. Forbes has repeatedly listed Knight among its Top 200 Best Small Companies.
“West Michigan’s unique geographic location requires special attention to freight movement in and out of the region,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “Strengthening the logistics and supply chain network in West Michigan creates a more competitive environment for the region’s manufacturing companies. The addition of Knight Transportation will further enhance West Michigan’s freight network.”
The City of Grand Rapids is considering the approval of a local PA 328 Property Tax Abatement to provide support for Knight Transportation’s capital investment.
“The city is grateful that Knight Transportation has found Grand Rapids an ideal place to accelerate its business forward. The strong partnership between the city, The Right Place, Inc., the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and West Michigan Works! all came together in an effort to make this project possible,” said Kara Wood, City of Grand Rapids Economic Development Director.
West Michigan Works!, the region’s largest workforce development system, has offered $140,000 in workforce development funding as the company begins its hiring process. The organization is prepared to provide a variety of assistance services, from pre-hire screening to on-the-job training programs.
“West Michigan Works! is thrilled to welcome Knight Transportation to Grand Rapids. We are committed to ensuring that they have the qualified workforce for success and growth in West Michigan,” said Jacob Maas, CEO of West Michigan Works!
West Michigan’s Logistics Infrastructure and Network
The Knight Transportation project supports the infrastructure pillar of The Right Place’s 2014-2016 Strategic Plan for economic growth. West Michigan’s freight transportation infrastructure is critical to the long-term health and growth of the region’s manufacturing sector, which currently represents over 20 percent of the region’s economy and jobs.
According to the most recent data available from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), 2013 outbound freight from the West Michigan 13-county region totaled $81.9 billion ($46 billion from manufacturing), while inbound freight totaled $78.2 billion ($22.6 billion from manufacturing).
“This announcement by The Right Place marks the fourth economic development project in three months for the organization,” said Richard Breon, President and CEO, Spectrum Health and Current Board Chair, The Right Place, Inc. “They are capitalizing on every opportunity, large and small, to ensure West Michigan’s citizens have career opportunities in our community.”
Relocating or Expanding Your Business In Michigan
Considering Michigan for your company’s relocation or expansion project? Check out Business Facilities’ Michigan Incentives and Workforce Development Guide.