Electrical supplier invests $2.2M in expansions
A global electrical supplier is investing millions to expand its operations in the region.
Byrne Electrical Specialists said today that it has just finished a $1.5 million, 15,000-square-foot expansion to its Rockford headquarters, where it has added 30-40 jobs each year since 2009.
The company also said that it’s starting work on a 15,000-square-foot plant in Lakeview in Montcalm County on an 8.8-acre site next to Lake Tamarack.
The site will also allow for another two or three plants, which could be used by Byrne or potential tenants.
The $750,000 investment is bolstered by a $160,000 performance grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., or MEDC, for job creation and training.
The expansions will help grow the company by up to 75 employees next year, as Byrne builds on estimated sales of $100 million this year.
Byrne has grown as consumers continue to look for more efficient ways to power their electronic devices.
The company provides furniture makers with power and data outlets that are integrated into furniture for use in offices and homes and the health care and hospitality industries.
“It used to be when you needed more power, you went to Lowe’s and picked up a power strip,” the company said. “Now people need agility and flexibility. It’s all these new ways people work.”
Byrne managing director Dan Byrne said Montcalm County used to be a manufacturing hub until the 1990s, when the manufacturing industry began shipping jobs overseas.
Byrne looked outside of the U.S. for its new site — it has distribution facilities in Brazil and Mexico and a factory in China — but ultimately decided on investing further in Michigan.
“Lakeview is a great town and a great place to invest. It’s how we felt about Rockford when we built in 1979,” said Norm Byrne, who, along with his wife, Rosemary, started the company in their basement in 1971. “Investment in manufacturing in Lakeview over the past few decades has been limited. We are excited to change that trend.”
Dan Byrne added that the company hopes the plant "encourages other companies to invest in Lakeview."