(WZZM) - Challenge Manufacturing Company is planning to create 180 automotive related jobs in West Michigan. Today, a $1 million grant was announced from the Michigan Business Development program to help the Walker-based company reach that goal.
Challenge Manufacturing plans to invest $10 million to expand its metal stamping and modular assembly operations in Holland and Walker. "With three expansions in the past three years, Challenge Manufacturing is among the fastest growing companies throughout West Michigan," said Randy Thelen, President of Lakeshore Advantage in a press release.
The new jobs will range from technical to skilled and unskilled production opportunities. They also be full-time with benefits. "As a proud West Michigan-based manufacturer, we are very pleased that this latest expansion of our business will happen at home," said Boyd Vor Broker, Vice President - Finance, Challenge Mfg. Company in a press release. "The support of state and local economic development made expanding in West Michigan much more economically feasible."
With customer orders growing, Challenge faces pressure to expand in the Southern U.S. and abroad, including automakers who pressure supply chain manufacturers to move near assembly plants. With the economic support from state and local resources, Challenge was able to invest here instead. The grant is part of a collaboration including, The Right Place, Inc., Lakeshore Advantage, The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the City of Holland and the City of Walker.
Today, Challenge Manufacturing employs more than 1,000 people in their four West Michigan plants.