Greater Grand Rapids Region Expansions Create 155 Jobs

Aspen Surgical will invest $5 million, create 75 jobs in Caledonia Township; Navico Group will invest $32.7 million, create 80 jobs in Lowell.

In Michigan’s Greater Grand Rapids region, Aspen Surgical will invest $5 million to expand its headquarters in Caledonia Township. The manufacturer of surgical essentials and infection control products plans to add 75 new jobs. Aspen Surgical currently employs more than 225 workers at its headquarters facility.

In October 2022, Aspen acquired Symmetry Surgical, a healthcare technology and solutions supplier of high-quality surgical instruments based in Nashville, TN. With this acquisition, the company plans to consolidate its warehousing and distribution centers into a leased space adjacent to its headquarters in Caledonia Township, where it will make upgrades to the building as well as add equipment and machinery.

Greater Grand Rapids Region
(Credit: The Right Place, Inc.)

“We are excited to partner with the state of Michigan to announce the growth of our headquarters and the upcoming opening of our new expanded distribution center in Caledonia,” said Aspen Surgical Products CEO Steve Blazejewski. “This expansion is a testament to Aspen Surgical’s growth and success, as well as our commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers across the healthcare continuum. With over 131,000 square feet of storage space and improved technology, the new distribution center will allow us to better meet our customers’ needs and provide a streamlined experience across the Aspen and Symmetry market-leading brands such as Bookwalter®, Bard-Parker®, and Bovie®.”

This project highlights Michigan’s efforts to position itself as a leader in the life sciences and medical device industry. The Right Place, Inc. and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) worked together to ensure the company continued its growth in the region, rather than at Symmetry Surgical’s existing operations in Nashville. Support included a $600,000 performance-based grant through the Michigan Business Development Program. The Right Place will help the company find candidates for the newly created positions through partnerships with West Michigan Works! and Grand Rapids Community College.

“Aspen Surgical has been a cornerstone of our region’s medical device community since 1999,” said Eric Icard, Senior Director of Business Development at The Right Place. “This expansion reflects not only their success but also contributes to the overall prosperity of our region. Working alongside them and seeing their continued growth is truly gratifying.”

Navico Group Grows In Lowell

Navico Group will invest $32.7 million to expand its Lowell operations, where it will create two Centers of Excellence in metal fabrication and electrification. The investment will increase quality, capacity, and efficiency, as well as improve product manufacturing capabilities. a division of Brunswick Corporation and the world’s leading supplier of integrated systems and products for the marine and RV industries,

The project is expected to create 80 jobs with the support of a $480,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites throughout the U.S. and around the world due to the company’s presence and strong employee base in the state.

Greater Grand Rapids Region
(Credit: The Right Place, Inc.)

“We are excited about this investment, which is a significant step in our commitment to being a leader in metal fabrication and electrification for the industries we serve,” said Brett Dibkey, Navico Group President. “The new manufacturing capabilities that we are implementing in the Lowell facility will enhance product development agility and speed-to-market.  We appreciate MEDC’s support and look forward to the positive impact this project will have on both our business and the Michigan economy.”

The metal fabrication Center of Excellence will be equipped with the latest laser and robotic fabrication technology to aid in the development and production of high-quality products for the marine industry.  Most of these products will come to market under the Attwood brand.

The new state-of-the-art battery lab and assembly capability will aid in the design and development of custom power solutions for the nearly 20 end-markets that Navico Group serves with brands like Mastervolt and RELiON Battery.

The lab will enable engineers to develop and test end-to-end battery technologies, from bespoke battery management systems to emergent cell chemistries. The establishment of this battery facility will bolster the global expansion of Navico Group’s electrification efforts and become the second electrification Center of Excellence in addition to the company’s Amsterdam facility.

“The decision by Navico to expand its manufacturing capabilities to enhance its Attwood product line in Michigan underscores our state’s leadership in future mobility and electrification, and demonstrates our commitment to continue prioritizing the development of sustainable, accessible mobility solutions for air, land, and water,” said Michigan’s Chief Mobility Officer Justine Johnson. “We’re pleased to join our local partners in supporting this expansion, and look forward to working with the company as it helps play a key role in Michigan’s comprehensive approach to mobility solutions development.”

“The Right Place is thrilled to have been a partner in Navico Group’s Attwood expansion,” said Olivia Lanctot, business development manager at The Right Place. “This expansion is going to allow them to bolster their R&D efforts, paving the way for new innovations in marine mobility. Their commitment to staying and growing in our region proves that Greater Grand Rapids is the place to be for advanced manufacturing & technology companies. We’re excited to see what comes next for them.”

Sustainability is also a large focus at the Lowell facility: It is the first Navico Group site to reach zero-waste-to-landfill status, meaning 90 percent of its waste materials are being recycled, reused, or otherwise eliminated.

The city of Lowell anticipates approval of a 12-year, 50-percent tax abatement in support of the project.

“The city of Lowell is looking forward to continue supporting Navico Group with their Attwood expansion,” said Lowell City Manager Mike Burns. “The city council always wants to find ways to see businesses come into our city, continue to grow and stay. We are pleased that a long-time corporation in our community wants to continue investing their business in our community.”

Michigan Business Expansions Bring $23.5M Capital Investment

The expansion of two Michigan businesses will result in a $23.5 million capital investment, according to MEDC. Read more…

The project also highlights Michigan’s travel and tourism industries. Michigan is the third-largest marine market in the country and ranks No. 3 in boat registrations. Boating has a $11.7 billion economic impact on Michigan’s economy each year, supporting more than 45,000 jobs and 1,500 businesses, according to the Michigan Boating Industries Association.

“Michigan’s outdoor recreation economy is tied to our beautiful outdoor places and also to our industry-leading capabilities in technology and product innovation,” said Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office Executive Director Brad Garmon. “We’re excited to celebrate Navico Group’s expansion in Lowell as they build on the state’s deep heritage of marine manufacturing, and we look forward to partnering with them to drive the global recreational boating industry.”

Check out all the latest news related to Michigan economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.


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