Nonprofit relocates plant
A nonprofit that provides job training to people with barriers to employment has celebrated the opening of its new plant in the area.
Grand Rapids-based Hope Network said yesterday Hope Network Industries, or HNI, has relocated its facility in the market from Roger B. Chaffee Boulevard in Grand Rapids to Aerotech Business Park in Kentwood, at 4490 44th St. SE.
The multi-site HNI program employs up to 200 people at a time in the areas of contract packaging, POP displays, fulfillment, logistics, assembly and light industrial work.
The move was due to growth.
The new facility spans 143,000 square feet, compared to the previous location, which has 83,000 square feet of space.
The new facility is also younger: it's 15 years old; the previous facility is 50 years old.
“It’s a significant increase in space that will help us further grow this important community program — and hiring and equipping more people in the communities we serve,” said Phil Weaver, president and CEO, Hope Network.
For more than 40 years, HNI has provided training and job skills to ex-offenders, refugees and other people with barriers to employment at its Grand Rapids facility, as well as at facilities in Big Rapids and Cadillac.
Weaver said a job with Hope Network Industries enables people to become “self-reliant members of our community.”
“For example, right now, we have a refugee who came to us from Bethany Christian Services who literally fled with the clothes on her back,” he said. “Today, she is an HNI team lead with an employment history and management skills.”
Hope Network reports that one million people living in Michigan suffer from physical, mental or social barriers that impact the way they live.