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The Right Place

West Michigan Manufacturing

One of the nation’s largest and most extensive manufacturing sectors.

The Grand Rapids region is home to industry leaders in applied technology, sustainable practices, and industrial design.

The region has some of the nation’s largest industry concentrations in metals, plastics, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, production technology, automotive, office furniture, and food processing.

With approximately four out of five manufacturers having less than 250 employees, West Michigan manufacturers are lean, innovative, and offer a wide variety of capabilities.

Manufacturing currently accounts for 15 percent of all jobs in the region and remains the heart of West Michigan’s economy.

In 2009, manufacturing in West Michigan began an era of unprecedented job creation and investment, surpassing both state and national average year after year. This trend continues today with more than 2,500 manufacturing companies growing in the region.

Recent Manufacturing Projects

US Cluster Rankings for Grand Rapids

  • 6th largest in automotive
  • 8th largest in biopharmaceuticals
  • 9th largest in metal manufacturing
  • 12th largest in plastics

West Michigan’s manufacturers are also supported by commercialization partners including the Van Andel Institute, the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC), the University Research Corridor, and MSU Business Connect.

Notable West Michigan Manufacturers

ADAC AutomotiveAlcoaAmwayBisselCargillHaworthHearthsideHerman MillerKellogsLacksSteelcaseWolverine

Top Manufacturing Employers in West Michigan

Company Regional Employees Description
ADAC Automotive 1,200 Full service automotive plastics supplier for worldwide automakers
Alcoa Howemt 2,350 Producer of cast components for commercial passenger jet engines
Amway Corporation 4,000 Health, beauty, and home product manufacturing
Autocam Corp 720 Precision auto component manufacturing
Flex-N-Gate 1,350 Motor vehicle metal stamping
Herman Miller 3,621 Office furniture design and manufacturing
Gentex 3,900 Electro-optical technology manufacturing for automotive and aerospace industries
Gill Industries 1,150 Precision-engineered assemblies and modules for the automotive, multi-use vehicle and furniture industries
Johnson Controls 1,950 Manufacturing and validation of interior systems and components for the automotive industry
Lacks Industries 2,800 Manufacturer of decorative plastics to the automotive, telecommunications, and consumer electronics markets
Plasan Carbon Composites 620 Carbon Fiber manufacturer for the automotive industry
Steelcase Inc 3,500 Designer and manufacturer of high performance work environments for office furniture industry