Business expansions to create 326 jobs get state aid

LANSING – Three business expansions and three community revitalization projects that will generate up to $18.6 million in private investment and create 326 jobs have received Michigan Strategic Fund support, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

  • Bissell Inc. received a $500,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support a $10 million, 25,000-square-foot expansion of its headquarters in Walker, a project expected to create 100 jobs. Bissell was established in Grand Rapids in 1876, based on a patent for a unique carpet sweeper. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Illinois and North Carolina. The city of Walker has offered a 50-percent property tax abatement in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with BISSELL should visit this link.
  • PJ Wallbank Spring, Inc. received a $205,880 increase to a $350,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant originally given in 2016 for an expansion of its plant in Port Huron. The original project was espected to create 68 jobs and result in an investment of $803,000. The company has been awarded new contracts and is expanding beyond the original project plan to include the acquisition of a new building and purchasing new equipment. The project now anticipates an additional capital investment of $2.4 million and the creation of 40 additional jobs. PJWS, founded in 1982, manufactures springs for automatic transmissions using proprietary manufacturing equipment to produce then. The company exports more than 50 percent of its sales outside of the United States, with roughly 20 percent of its export volume being shipped to China. Michigan was chosen for the expansion over competing sites in Germany and China. The city of Port Huron is supporting the project by providing a new safety crossing connecting the company’s two facilities. PJWS will be seeking 40 new employees and will be hosting a job fair on Saturday, March 23 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its headquarters, 2121 Beard St. in Port Huron. For information on careers with P.J. Wallbank Springs, visit:
  • Truck-Lite Co., a subsidiary of Penske Co., received an $855,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support a $4 million project to move its headquarters from Falconer, N.Y. to Southfield, resulting in the creation of 95 jobs. Truck-Lite operates internationally with 3,000 employees, and manufactures heavy-duty lighting, telematics, engine protection, and safety and visibility systems for the auto, heavy-duty truck, off-marine and other vehicle markets. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Pennsylvania and New York. The city of Southfield has offered a potential tax abatement for qualified investment, expedited permitting, a job fair, and staff assistance in support of the project. Individuals interested in careers with Truck-Lite should visit

In community economic development support:

  • The city of Charlotte received $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Beach Market Renovations Project. The city, in cooperation with the Friends of Beach Market nonprofit organization, plans to renovate and restore the market as a historic structure within a historic district. When completed, the building will serve as a space for community events and concerts and a venue for an open-air farmers market twice a week. The CDBG funds will be used to eliminate blight at the site. The Friends of Beach Market will contribute $220,925, which will be used to create a pavilion-like structure over the open, central area of the market space and make historically-appropriate renovations to the building.
  • The city of Houghton has been awarded $605,750 in CDBG funds for acquisition and architectural/engineering work needed for the Copper Range Depot project located at 301 W. Lakeshore Drive. The project includes the historic renovation of a long-vacant, underutilized space into a restaurant, office space and two residential units. The project is expected to generate 23 full-time equivalent jobs and activate 11,000 square feet of space. CDBG-eligible activities include acquisition and architectural/engineering work. Local match activities to be completed include $10,000 of public infrastructure improvements. Private match activities to be completed include acquisition, rehabilitation, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, and site improvements. The city expects this project could result in private investment of $908,963.
  • The city of Mason has been awarded $443,298 in CDBG funds for rehabilitation of the 402 Kean Building. The Wren development project includes renovations for two new apartments, a new restaurant and commercial space to the most visible corner of the downtown Mason. A major focus of the project is energy efficient renovation materials for the building, the entire storefront and roof will be refurbished, and three faces of the building will undergo a complete renovation of brick. A renovated balcony will be brought up to code, and fire suppression and new stairway access will be added. The city expects this project could result in private investment of $445,797.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit


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