Carbon Composite Manufacturer Expands in West Michigan

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The Right Place supports Plasan Carbon Composites expansion, bringing 202 new jobs and $18 million in capital investment to West Michigan

George Bosnjak, Business Development Manager, The Right Place, Inc.
“Plasan is part of the next generation of smart manufacturing and advanced materials in the automotive industry.” -- George Bosnjak, Business Development Manager, The Right Place, Inc.

The Right Place, in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and local partners, announced today a new manufacturing expansion in the City of Walker. The MEDC approved the amendment to an existing High Technology MEGA tax credit for Vermont-based, Plasan Carbon Composites. The amendment will clear the way for a new manufacturing facility in the City of Walker, and is expected to generate over $18 million in capital investment, creating 202 new jobs over the next three years.

Plasan Carbon Composites is an automotive tier one manufacturer of carbon composite components such as hoods, roofs, and fenders for low volume, luxury vehicles. Through its research and development efforts, the company has developed a new manufacturing process enabling high volume production of automotive components. The company’s new facility, located at 3195 N. Wilson Drive, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the City of Walker, will implement this new process, establishing a high volume production facility enabling Plasan Carbon Composites to pursue high volume automotive component opportunities.

“Plasan is part of the next generation of smart manufacturing and advanced materials in the automotive industry,” said George Bosnjak, Business Development Manager, The Right Place, Inc., and project lead for the expansion. “The Right Place is there to ensure that, as companies like Plasan grow, they grow in West Michigan.”

The expansion project began in December 2010 with an initial meeting with The Right Place. Based on preliminary discussions and project requirements, Bosnjak led the business case for West Michigan, coordinating with local real estate resources and leading site tours of several potential facilities in the area. Once a facility was determined, Bosnjak led the coordination with the MEDC, the City of Walker, and the company to determine possible economic incentives for the expansion to ensure the project stayed in West Michigan. The Right Place will continue working with Plasan Carbon Composites, connecting the company with regional recruiting and workforce training resources.

“This project is a great example of the unique open collaboration and teamwork in West Michigan,” said Bosnjak. “Our state and local partners worked together with private industry to make this project a success, bring new jobs and investment to the region.”

Michigan competed with the states of Ohio and Indiana for the manufacturing expansion project. Both competing states host a growing polymer technology and research cluster as well as access to other key regional suppliers that made the states attractive. However, The Right Place, the MEDC, and local partners were able to build a business case of the right facility, economic incentives, and access to a talented workforce to keep the company in Michigan.

With this latest economic development project, The Right Place, working with its local and state partners, has generated $72,770,500 million in capital investment and assisted in the retention and creation of over 827 jobs in West Michigan in 2011.

About The Right Place, Inc.
The Right Place, Inc. is a regional non-profit economic development organization founded in 1985 and supported through investments from the private and public sector. Its mission is to promote economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and technology in West Michigan by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. For more information visit: http://www.rightplace.org

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Tim Mroz
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