“At Gentex, we believe that everyone benefits – employees, shareholders, the local community – when we operate our business to the best of our abilities. But the reverse is also true… a strong West Michigan helps Gentex and other businesses thrive. That’s why were passionate about the work of the right place as one of the area’s leading economic development organizations.
Every business, at some point in its journey, needs to be pointed in the right direction. It needs help making the right contacts, connecting to the right resources, and knowing where to go for sound business advice. The Right Place has been pointing businesses in the right direction for over 35 years and we believe that supporting the Right Place in helping businesses thrive is part of our obligation to the community.
West Michigan has the resources and values that help a technology company like Gentex be successful. It’s a community known for its philanthropy but also includes a very unique culture of cooperation between the public and private sector. It’s home to colleges and universities that fuel research and medical advancements while producing a constant stream of new talent. It boasts a diverse economic base – from health care to automotive to aerospace to tourism. And to top it all off – a gorgeous lakeshore, strong Midwest work ethic, growing and vibrant downtown areas, world-class entertainment opportunities, and a cost of living that makes it all affordable. We’re proud to play a role in West Michigan’s success, and thankful for the ways it has allowed us to flourish.”
President & CEO
“Consumers Energy has been powering Michigan’s growth and success for over 130 years, and we know our success is dependent on a healthy Michigan economy. In fact, fostering Michigan’s prosperity is built into our triple bottom line approach to running the business. For Michigan to truly “win” – we must look at economic development as a team sport – which is why we’re proud to invest in The Right Place. This organization is a perfect example of bringing together the right players – comprised of both business leaders and community leaders – to successfully attract jobs, talent and businesses to our home state of Michigan.
We’re fortunate to call Michigan home. This state has several unique characteristics and incredible communities – West Michigan being key among those – that make it a great place to do business. We have energy-ready sites for new businesses, vibrant and innovative cities like Grand Rapids, and a growing talent pool. What’s not to love?”
Senior Vice President - Operations
"FZ’s story began in West Michigan nearly 40 years ago. As we’ve expanded our footprint throughout Michigan and the Southeastern US, we’re proud to say our home base, and heart, remain here. As we have grown and expanded The Right Place has been a great partner, most recently in our decision to open our new Industrial Tech Center in Walker. The Right Place was our first call when we decided to expand these services. Their unequaled knowledge coupled with their deep regional connections, and their knowledge of available resources made the decision to grow in West Michigan an easy one. We couldn’t ask for a better partner as we continue to use our Industrial Tech solutions to help manufacturers navigate Industry 4.0.
The future is bright. The Right Place helps tell our collective story of growth and entrepreneurship, building on our past and leading into the future. We are proud to be a part of that story, and proud to be a part of the amazing community we call West Michigan.”
"Erhardt Construction has been part of the Grand Rapids community since 1962 and has been blessed to be part of the growth story of Grand Rapids. The Right Place has undoubtedly been a driver of the economic growth for our entire region. Erhardt Construction invests in The Right Place because we believe the growth and healthy of our company is directly tied to the economic growth and development of our entire region. Our clients and our employees are here in West Michigan, and economic development is a critical ingredient to the health and growth of our community. I believe we are approaching a new era, and Erhardt is proud to be a part of what comes next.
West Michigan is an ideal location to do business because it is a great place to live. We have a unique blend of talent, natural resources and a business climate that supports collaboration and growth."
Ben Wickstrom, PE
President and CEO
Cascade Die Casting Group, Inc.
"The Right Place has established itself as one of the leading economic development organizations in the country. Its team finds creative ways to provide West Michigan companies with the resources to grow and prosper.
We first engaged with the Right Place team as part of a major expansion, and they were instrumental in assisting with recruitment and training of employees for our growth. We are members of The Right Place’s Manufacturers Council, and as part of the Council we tour other member companies to share best practices, attend educational events on current topics impacting manufacturing, and develop networking relationships with other manufacturers.
By investing in The Right Place, we not only receive the benefits mentioned above, but are also contributing to the future economic development of the fine community where we live and work.
West Michigan has a very strong manufacturing base, built over the years by bold entrepreneurs who are willing to give back to the community. These businesses openly share best practices, so everyone improves. West Michigan has been nationally ranked as one of the best locations in the country to live, providing the quality of life to retain a hardworking, highly skilled workforce. Cascade Die Casting is proud to have 40 years of history in West Michigan and looks forward to many more successful years in the West Michigan community."
Cascade Die Casting Group, Inc.
"We invest in The Right Place because we believe The Right Place is integral to the continued expansion of the West Michigan business community and economy. When West Michigan grows, all who live and do business in the area benefit. We feel The Right Place helps accelerate growth in our region, and therefore benefits us as a stakeholder in the local business community and economy. Economic development is the output of The Right Place, and this output benefits us.
West Michigan is an ideal place to do business given its unique mix of entrepreneurial, skilled and dedicated workforce, and natural resources. BDO USA is proud to have nearly 100 years of history in West Michigan. We look forward to participating in the region's future growth, as we have participated in its past success."
Matthew K. Becker
Managing Partner - Central Region and National Tax Office Managing Partner
"The Right Place is true to their mission of advancing West Michigan’s economy and we’re excited to be part of, and support that. In fact, we’re dependent upon sustainable growth and vibrancy in West Michigan to fuel our organization. Investing in The Right Place provides the opportunity for Progressive AE to help stimulate a healthy economic environment where businesses can thrive and, in-turn, reinvest in the community – whether that’s building new, re-purposing existing space, job creation, or attracting top talent to the area. When these things happen, we all win.
Not only does West Michigan offer a diversified economy and market-mix, it boasts a high quality of life for employees and families. The community’s casual and friendly culture makes it easy to get connected, build relationships, and get active in community building. Since Progressive AE is dependent on personal connections with community partners and clients, this culture fits our firm well.
In addition to a friendly and professional business climate, there is a great mid-west work ethic that makes for strong business performance both regionally and nationally. When we export our professional services out of the region, we find the business culture and work ethic make for a competitive offering. We are proud to call West Michigan Home!"
President and CEO
"Founded in 1978, Epitec has become a premier IT, engineering and professional staffing company providing services throughout the United States. Epitec employs more than 1,500 consultants annually and is certified African-American owned and operated.
Over the last 40 years, Epitec has engaged several advocacy organizations but our partnership with The Right Place provides the economic line of site we need for predictive and strategic planning. As our West Michigan client base has grown, working towards additional relationships in partnership with The Right Place has been a logical move in the right direction. The associated credibility has been well worth the investment; With a staff of industry experts and relevant programming, The Right Place continues to resonate and offer our team and organization significant value.
In partnership with The Right Place, Epitec has found, West Michigan offers our organization a business friendly, innovative community ripe with opportunities. And that’s just the beginning, as we work with West Michigan to innovate the way the world thinks about employment."
Executive Vice President
Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors
"As accountants, we at Hungerford Nichols are always looking at the return on our investments. Was the investment profitable? Did it result in new clients or leads? However, our investment in The Right Place is different. We view it not only as an investment in our company, but more importantly, as an investment in our community. We’re not concerned with how many direct clients or leads we received. Instead, we look at our partnership with The Right Place as the 'right thing' to do, both for our company and the region as a whole.
The Right Place does an excellent job of assisting growing companies in West Michigan that stimulate the local economy. They also work to attract businesses to West Michigan, which increases economic growth in the region. In turn, these growing companies employ citizens of our community, enabling them to purchase products manufactured and distributed by our clients. They utilize the professional services of physicians, dentists and optometrists who are our clients. Their children attend local schools that our firm serves. All of this enables our clients to grow. When our clients grow, we grow.
Hungerford Nichols has been part of the Grand Rapids community for over 76 years, and we follow the philosophy that 'a rising tide lifts all boats.' Therefore, the investment we make in The Right Place provides increasingly strong returns throughout our community. Their work drives economic prosperity in the region, creating a stronger and healthier community."
Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors
Grand Valley State University
"Grand Valley State University works closely with The Right Place because our missions are so closely aligned. We educate students to become a vital part of West Michigan’s talent pipeline, and The Right Place makes sure they have businesses and institutions in the area that need and appreciate their skill sets.
Our students need vibrant businesses that are growing and innovating and can supply opportunities for them to learn while doing and producing through internships and co-ops. This positive relationship is one example of why West Michigan has a consistent formula for success.
West Michigan and Grand Valley State University share an entrepreneurial spirit that goes hand-in-hand with flexibility. Businesses come to this community and learn quickly that leaders want to say 'yes' to ideas. They find employees who are well trained in best practices and educated to think critically, and they are willing to work hard for an exciting goal.
Our graduates appreciate both the stability and the excitement available in the region. Many stay in the area after graduating. They find what businesses find: opportunities for financial success, service contributions, and a rich arts and cultural climate.
It is always the right time to find opportunities at The Right Place."
Thomas J. Haas
Grand Valley State University
"Medbio invests in the Right Place for two main reasons. The first reason is a simple direct return on that investment. The level of networking, aid in navigating governmental programs, and access to RPI-sponsored industry councils and events allow us to realize a true return on investment immediately and continually. Secondly, The Right Place provides a sustained effort to promote the business environment in West Michigan. Nobody else goes to work every day with the intention of retaining and creating jobs for the entire West Michigan community. Through their dedicated staff, RPI utilizes a variety of tools and contacts to make sure that West Michigan is one of the most attractive places to conduct business in the country. Whether it is convincing a company to relocate to West Michigan, addressing pertinent pending or existing legislation, or providing assistance to current West Michigan companies as they expand their business, The Right Place is always at the ready to get these jobs done. There are many economic development groups across the country, precious few measure up to the success that the Right Place has enjoyed!
West Michigan’s philanthropy, work ethic, talented workforce, and vibrant community are the main drivers allowing companies to succeed in the area. There are very few cities were generosity has created such a unique business environment. We are fortunate to live in a city where there is true belief in giving back to the community. This philosophy has created enormous growth in our downtown area, providing economic and cultural opportunities that did not exist just ten years ago. Our community also possesses a strong entrepreneurial flavor complimented with a solid work ethic that provides one of the more talented work forces in the Midwest area. Combine these ingredients with a city that is ranked nationally as a best place to work, live, and raise a family and you understand why West Michigan is a destination for businesses looking to succeed and a home to those that are already prospering."
President & CEO
"The Right Place has been one of the catalysts that has contributed to the West Michigan renaissance over the last 30 years. From the creation, expansion and retention of local businesses, to the focus on smart manufacturing, the impact The Right Place has on the city of Grand Rapids and West Michigan is significant. Wolverine Worldwide is committed to enriching the lives in the communities in which our employees work and live, and we firmly believe The Right Place is critical to the success of the city and its people.
West Michigan is a unique community whose success has been built on a high quality of life, an unbelievable desire from the residents to give back, and a “can do“ attitude by the business community to make a difference. Rooted in economic growth for the community, The Right Place is a critical component in the continued success of making the West Michigan community a vital place to conduct business. Dating back to 1883, with G.A. Krause pioneering the way for Wolverine Worldwide in Rockford, our company understands and values strategic partnerships focused on the development of a community and its people. While the landscape has changed over the years, the philanthropic commitment and entrepreneurial spirit has remained the same. West Michigan has become a thriving mecca of opportunity for arts & culture, medical research, business development and entertainment. The community continues to attract top talent and has become an ideal location for us to run our global business."
Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President
"The Right Place plays a vital role in creating the kind of business environment that attracts employers. This makes West Michigan a good choice for individuals and families looking for a place to call home. Spectrum Health, the region’s largest employer, is proud to be a member and supporter of The Right Place and all it does for the community.
For the past 16 years, it has been my privilege to work with community, business and philanthropic leaders committed not only to high quality, integrated health care in West Michigan, but also to the long-term economic health of our region.
As West Michigan’s only locally governed, integrated health system, as well as its largest employer, Spectrum Health has a vested interest in the health of the communities we serve; it’s our mission. We also have a vested interest in helping to make West Michigan a region that creates opportunity, attracts employers, and offers families and individuals a high quality of life.
I’ve come to recognize several special characteristics about West Michigan that have enabled our community to forge ahead through periods of economic stress, industry upheaval and political and social change, emerging each time stronger, more cohesive and with a stronger dedication to working together for the good of all of our citizens: An exceptional work ethic, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a desire to collaborate, a willingness to embrace and support change, and the generosity of the region’s philanthropic community.
These are just a few of West Michigan’s underlying attributes that are helping to establish new industries, retool old ones, breathe new life into facilities, grow opportunity, attract investment and provide innovative programs to the underserved – efforts that are positively impacting the region, and will continue to do so for years to come.”
Richard C. Breon
President and CEO
"We value the services The Right Place provides to our clients and the business community. Whether our clients are in manufacturing, health care or agriculture, they can rely on The Right Place development staff to assist with business research, site location, economic incentives and linking to area service providers. Our investment with The Right Place provides an unparalleled return to West Michigan’s growth and vitality. "
"West Michigan offers an employer friendly atmosphere which creates the opportunity for businesses of all sizes to succeed. The entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropy that is generated throughout the West Michigan region has resulted in an influx of talent and a positive transformation of the business landscape. Couple that with the high quality of life that exists as a result of the area’s natural beauty, arts and entertainment offerings, affordable housing, educational choices and top-notch health care and it is obvious that West Michigan is an ideal location to do business."
Craig A. Mutch
Attorney at Law
"The Right Place continues to demonstrate their passion and leadership for economic development in the area. Each year The Right Place communicates their priorities and resource plans to all investors. Moreover, they hold themselves accountable for results by measuring their progress and performance. It is one thing to talk about your accomplishments, it's another thing to prove it.
There is an incredible amount of positive energy in the community and we share the fundamental values of working hard, tackling challenges, and supporting the lives of others. West Michigan has transformed itself into a great place to start a professional career, raise a family, and continue with lifelong learning. I'm continually amazed by the growing success of local businesses, cutting edge universities, and service of the philanthropic organizations."