Two business expansions creating 100 jobs get state aid

LANSING — The Michigan Strategic Fund has supported two business expansions, in Washtenaw County’s Pittsfield Township and in Kent County’s Plainfield Township.

Pacific Industrial Development Corp. received a $400,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support an investment of $17.2 million expansion that will create 50 jobs. (A photo of the plant is above.)

State officials said Michigan was chosen for the expansion over a competing site in South Carolina.

Pacific Industrial is a specialty chemical company focusing on catalysis and electronic materials. The company has more than 20 percent of the market share of global automotive catalyst support material. With significant R&D spending, the company is expanding its technologies to chemical and petrochemical catalyst markets. PIDC is also positioning itself to grow its advanced material business in the electrification of the automotive industry.

Ann Arbor Spark assisted the company with identifying and pursuing growth plans in Pittsfield Township, and will assist with talent acquisition for the expansion. Individuals interested in careers with PIDC should visit http://pidc.com/our-company/careers.

In Plainfield Township, Sugar Free Specialties LLC, a manufacturer of sugar-free nutritional candy, was awarded a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support a $2.3 mllion purchase of a 25,000-square-foot second manufacturing plant, an expansion that will create 50 jobs.

State officials said Michigan was chosen for the expansion over a competing site in Indiana.

Sugar Free Specialties does business under the brand name Dr. John’s. It was started by John Bruinsma and his wife Debra, a dentist and hygienist team who wanted to offer their patients a better tasting sugar free treat at their dental office.

The Right Place, the Grand Rapids area’s economic development agency, has offered to assist with finding candidates for the new positions. For information on careers with Dr. John’s, email Stephanie Koehl at Stephanie@drjohns.com.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org.

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