Seating maker invests $1.9M in expansion, 60 jobs
A seating maker with a more than 100-year history is planning to undergo a $1.9-million expansion and create at least 60 jobs.
Irwin Seating Company plans to complete a “strategic expansion project” at the company’s current location in Walker, at 3251 Fruit Ridge Ave. NW, according to The Right Place, a regional economic development nonprofit, today.
In addition to building renovations, Irwin Seating Company will invest in new machinery, equipment and training for newly hired employees.
Irwin Seating plans to re-purpose 50,000 square feet of existing manufacturing space to support the production of a new recliner product for the cinema market.
The product line is a “strategic growth opportunity for the company.”
The company employs more than 400 people, with 287 employees located in Walker.
Irwin Seating was founded in West Michigan in 1908.
The company is the world’s largest maker of seating for movie theaters, auditoriums, arenas, performing arts centers and convention centers. Its products are currently in use at some of the world’s “finest venues.”
Irwin Seating operates a second plant in Altamont, Ill. and direct sales offices in Canada and the Middle East.
The Right Place said Irwin Seating received a $300,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund for the project.
The city of Walker is also supporting the project and considering the approval of a local tax abatement for the expansion.
Irwin Seating CEO and President Win Irwin said he’s proud to be able to continue to re-invest in the community.
“We are particularly grateful that The Right Place and the state of Michigan were willing to partner with us on this exciting opportunity,” Irwin said.
Mark Huizenga, mayor of the city of Walker, said that Irwin Seating is "not just a great company and a provider of jobs, but also a community-minded organization."
“We are proud to see their commitment continue to grow in Walker and in the great state of Michigan,” Huizenga said.
Birgit Klohs, CEO and president of The Right Place, said that Irwin Seating and the Irwin family have “long been part of West Michigan’s manufacturing and economic growth history.”
“We are pleased to see the company continue to grow, innovate and re-invest in the region,” Klohs said.