Hart Cooley expanding in Cascade

December 15, 2008
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The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board, in collaboration with Cascade Township and The Right Place Inc., today approved a High-Technology MEGA Tax Credit for Hart & Cooley Inc. at its facility located in Kent County.

According to a news release, the tax credit, valued at more than $1.5 million, will support the company’s consolidation of its U.S. operations to centrally locate sales management, finance, accounting, research and development, customer service, advanced engineering and other technical functions in West Michigan. 

Hart & Cooley is expanding its Cascade Township operations. The project will result in the creation of approximately 48 new jobs over the next five years, paying an average weekly base wage of $1,257, and will include a capital investment of $3.9 million. The company will also offer health care benefits and pay a portion of the benefit costs. Hart & Cooley will begin adding some of the positions immediately and expects the process to be complete over the next two years.

The company considered consolidating operations at existing facilities in Texas, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio before ultimately deciding on its Michigan location. The other states under consideration offered tax credits related to employment, real and personal property and job training assistance.

“With operations in nine other states, Canada and Mexico, we had a number of possible locations but it was the support of Cascade Township, the State of Michigan and the Right Place that made the difference,” said Bernard Roy, president of Hart & Cooley. “This is both a challenging and exciting time for us as we make crucial business decisions to ensure our viability in a significantly depressed home building market.

“By bringing these jobs to our Michigan headquarters, we will strengthen our ability to support the research and development, customer service and financial needs of all of our operations and customers,” Roy said.

“Hart & Cooley has a long history in the West Michigan area, all the way back to 1928. Their decision to consolidate the company in West Michigan and establish their business-critical operations here demonstrates their understanding of our region’s qualified workforce and economic development support,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO of The Right Place. “This project would not have happened without the full collaboration and teamwork of The Right Place, Hart & Cooley, Cascade Township, and the State. We remain in a highly competitive environment with other states, and our ability to quickly work together, gives us a powerful strategic advantage.”

In addition to the tax credits offered at the state level, Cascade Township is in the process of approving additional personal property tax abatements for a period of up to 12 years. The approval of these abatements is expected within the next 90 days.

Hart & Cooley Inc., a subsidiary of Tomkins plc, was acquired in 2000 by Tomkins to compliment the company’s existing airflow product business. The company currently employs 111 workers in Michigan.

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