- people on the move
Chinese company creating West Michigan plant
A Chinese maker of furniture components is establishing a new plant and investing $4.9 million in West Michigan.
The new facility will add 122 jobs to the region and complement J-Star’s recently opened Kent City office and warehouse facilities, at 83 South Main St.
The new plant will support J-Star’s business growth in the U.S., which centers around manufacturing linear motion and lifting systems for the office furniture industry.
J-Star is currently in the process of staffing the new facility and hopes to begin production by mid-2018.
J-Star has operated in the U.S. since 2014, when it opened a warehouse and administrative office in Southern California, which serves as its American headquarters.
The company considered expanding closer to its California base, but The Right Place, an economic development nonprofit in Grand Rapids, helped lure J-Star to the region by building a business case and convincing company leaders that the region’s deep roots in the furniture manufacturing industry merited consideration.
“Securing this new Chinese foreign direct investment is significant for our region,” said Birgit Klohs, president and CEO, The Right Place. “The investment re-affirms that West Michigan is a global destination for international investment and business expansion.”
By J-Star choosing to expand in the region, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, or MEDC, provided the company support in the form of a $738,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.
“West Michigan was identified as an excellent location, due to the proximity to many of the leading office furniture manufacturers and the skilled manufacturing talent available in this area,” said Michael Fedrigo, general manager, J-Star. “The support available through The Right Place and the MEDC was a significant factor in their final site selection.”
J-Star parent company Jiecang Linear was established in 2000 in Xinchang, China as a manufacturer of linear actuators and lifting columns.
Its products have been used in medical and home care equipment, and the company has an annual production capacity of 600,000 actuators and 200,000 control boxes.