Economic Development, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Electronics maker invests up to $1.85M in plant

March 24, 2016
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Electronics manufacturer plans 110 jobs, $2.45M expansion
Grand Rapids-based Fistronic is a contract electronics manufacturer. Courtesy The Right Place

A local electronics maker is planning to invest in its operation and create 50 jobs.

Firstronic in Grand Rapids, which provides electronics manufacturing services, will invest up to $1.85 million in new equipment and create 50 jobs at its plant at 1655 Michigan St., The Right Place announced yesterday.

Firstronic chose to re-invest in West Michigan for the second time in three years.

The latest project will increase capacity and efficiency at the plant and follows the company’s 2013 project, which entailed a $2.45-million investment that created 110 jobs.

John Sammut, CEO at Firstronic, said the demand for the company’s electronics manufacturing services is increasing at a very fast pace, which brings increased pressure to locate operations abroad in China or Mexico.

“With assistance from The Right Place and their partners, we are able to ensure that we will also continue to increase our investment and job creation here in West Michigan,” Sammut said. “Since manufacturing jobs can be transformative, we aren’t simply creating jobs. We are also helping the employees we hire add additional skills over time.”

Local support

Local and state partners provided assistance to Firstronic for the project.

The Right Place in Grand Rapids, which said it has provided services to Firstronic for more than a decade, helped the company apply for a performance-based grant at the state level.

The trend to locate manufacturing operations near customers is moving farther up the supply chain, said Bill Small, VP of technical services, The Right Place, and regional director, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West.

“With no expected slowdown in this trend, it is critical for us to ensure that our companies like Firstronic can continue growing and investing in West Michigan,” Small said.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp., or MEDC, approved a $200,000 Michigan Strategic Fund grant to help the company fund new automation technology and employee training efforts. 

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