It isn’t the biggest economic development project ever, but the
Newell Rubbermaid announcement is worth highlighting because of the impressive
win it provides under Michigan’s strategy to emphasize its talent and
engineering strengths in its business development program.
Newell Rubbermaid announced late last month that it will
open a design and innovation facility in Kalamazoo, MI, where the firm will
consolidate its product and graphic design capabilities. Newell Rubbermaid “is a global marketer of
consumer and commercial products with a portfolio of leading brands, including
Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Grace, Calphalon Paper Mate and Irwin.”
The company will invest $2.3 million in a new 40,000 SF
facility that is expected to open in early 2014 and create up to 100 design
jobs, most of which will be consolidated from several other locations. Salaries are estimated to range from $70,000-$90,000.
include a $2 million Michigan Business Development performance grant, a $4
million facility constructed by Southwest Michigan First, and $164,000 in tax
abatements from the city of Kalamazoo.
The facility will be located in Western Michigan
University’s Business Technology and Research Park. Locating near Western Michigan University was
a critical factor in selecting Kalamazoo for “its rich pool of design talent,
close partnerships between education and business and outstanding quality of