Economic Development, Lakeshore, and Manufacturing

Aerospace supplier names West Michigan its global HQ

October 3, 2014
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Aerospace supplier names West Michigan its global HQ
Alcoa Power and Propulsion’s global headquarters in Whitehall produces jet engine components. Courtesy Alcoa

A supplier to the aerospace industry has named its 155-acre campus in the region its global headquarters.

Jet engine parts

Alcoa Power and Propulsion, or APP, a business unit of Alcoa, has moved its headquarters from Cleveland, where it’s been located for the past nine years, to Whitehall, according to the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce this week.

The 2,150 employees at APP’s Whitehall operation produce cast components for commercial passenger jet engines and Western military aircraft jet engines.

APP’s global research and development facility for metal components made via its investment-casting production process is also in Whitehall.

Whitehall served as APP's home previously. In 1951, the business moved to Whitehall from Detroit.

APP’s operation in the region has been “the center of Alcoa’s investment-casting technology since 2000, when it became part of Alcoa’s downstream business segment,” said Michael Pepper, president, APP. “When it comes to investment-casting advancements, the aerospace industry comes to Whitehall for the next generation of engine components and much more.”

APP has more than 8,500 employees in nine states and seven countries, manufacturing products for use in aircraft engines and structures, industrial gas turbines, military equipment and many other applications.

Aggressive build out

APP’s parent company, New York-based Alcoa, is “aggressively transforming its overall portfolio by building out its value-add businesses,” including APP, to create a “lower cost, very competitive commodity business. “

In the second quarter of 2014, Alcoa’s value-add businesses accounted for 56 percent of Alcoa's total revenues.

APP in Muskegon County

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce expressed its appreciation for APP’s commitment to the region.

“This is a great day for Muskegon County and all of West Michigan,” said Cindy Larsen, chamber president. “Alcoa has been one of our leading corporate citizens for many years, contributing significant dollars to make our region vibrant and supporting their employees as they perform countless hours of volunteer service. It is very exciting news.”

Preservation grant

To commemorate the headquarters designation, the Alcoa Foundation has awarded $25,000 to the Grand Rapids-based Land Conservancy of West Michigan to help preserve Anderson Woods in Fruitland Township.

“The Alcoa Foundation grant will allow us to capture a matching-grant challenge and complete initial planning in creating one of the more accessible nature preserves for people of all physical capabilities,” said Brian Obits, development director, Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

“Alcoa has been a leading steward of land management for many years, restoring native habitat on its campus and re-foresting dozen of acres of land in Muskegon County over the past decade.”

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