Economic Development, Manufacturing, and Real Estate

Defense contractor relocates to West Michigan

April 8, 2015
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Defense contractor relocates to West Michigan
Plasan North America makes survivability products for the Department of Defense and other government agencies. Courtesy The Right Place

A defense contractor is relocating to the area and creating 120 jobs and a $12.3-million investment in the process.

Plasan North America will relocate from Bennington, Vt. to a new facility in Walker, at 3236 Wilson Dr. NW, according to The Right Place, a regional economic development nonprofit, today.

The Walker site was chosen over competing sites in Vermont, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee.

The facility will serve as home to Plasan North America’s corporate office, research and development and production resources.

Plasan will be leasing space in the building, which is being leased by NAI Wisinki of West Michigan, and is also home to Oliver Packaging and Equipment.

Sister company

Plasan’s sister company, Plasan Carbon Composites, a maker of carbon fiber parts and assemblies for the auto industry, operates a plant nearby, at 3195 Wilson Dr. NW.

Keith Rayborn, president, Plasan U.S., said the “success and support” of its sister company in West Michigan contributed to the decision to relocate Plasan North America.

Manufacturing operations for Plasan Carbon Composites have been located in Walker since 2012.

“The city is pleased to now welcome their defense operations to Walker,” said Walker Mayor Mark Huizenga.

Walker operation

The company plans to use the leased facilities in Walker to support manufacturing of multi-purpose all-terrain vehicles, or MATVs, light tactial vehicles, or LTVs, and future combat vehicles, adjacent to the Carbon Composites facility.

“We are looking forward to establishing roots in the region and begin tapping into the talent and resources West Michigan and Michigan have to offer,” Rayborn said.

Hiring plans

Plasan plans to hire and train more than 120 people over the next three years.

Once up and running, Plasan will be hiring at all levels, from production to engineering and supervisory positions.

It has already begun hiring for key initial personnel and additional hiring will take place as various lines and systems are installed and put online.

Plasan North America

The company is a leading maker of survivability products for ground and airborne platforms, advanced composite structures and active protection systems for the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

Plasan North America is working with other U.S. Prime Contractors to develop the next generation of LTVs for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

It has previously developed key survivability products for the mine resistant ambush protected vehicle, or MRAP, program and MATV program that provided lifesaving technology in support of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Michigan R&D

The Right Place in Grand Rapids said Michigan’s well-established capabilities in engineering, R&D and advanced manufacturing tied to U.S. ground and air defense systems will be a strategic advantage for Plasan North America.

Michigan is also home to the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, one of the Army's largest weapon systems research, development and sustainment organizations. TACOM helped with the Army’s transformation to “a lighter, more lethal and survivable force.”

“This is great example of a business-attraction success leading to future business attraction,” said Birgit Klohs, president and CEO, The Right Place.


The Right Place worked with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to develop a business-support package that includes a variety of business-growth assistance, including worker training through Michigan Works!, local tax abatements in the city of Walker and a performance-based grant through the Michigan Business Development Program. 

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