Can Kalamazoo Lure New Factories? https://lnkd.in/ejEwDhh
Selling points include:
1. Access to trade skills through a world class community college (KVCC).
2. I-94 has been widened through Kalamazoo.
3. Kzoo is equi-distant from the tool & die industry (South bend & GR, & also Detroit & Chicago, & a gateway to Canada). 131 to GR has been developed & there will be a bypass to South Bend. A factory would need quick & easy access to such tooling & equipment suppliers.
4. A LACK of UAW/union presence & culture. Metro Detroit is close by but we are not Metro Detroit & we also have a much more diversified economy. We are a Right to Work state (2013).
5. Good supply of homes all over the area for future employees & the Kzoo Promise (free college for their kids).
6. Kzoo is routinely ranked as having the best quality of life & low cost of living balance.
7. A conveniently located regional airport that has been expanded.
8. An easily accessible railway system.
9. The Midlink business park that could house logistics services (e.g., warehousing, distribution, transportation, etc.).
10. An abundance of cheap real estate located closely to I-94, 131, railways, the Midlink, & the airport.
11. Most suppliers would likely be located close by.
12. A local & state government that is becoming more tax friendly.
Given the growth of several companies & need for future investment in the largest economy in the world (U.S.A.), could Kzoo lure some of that investment (e.g., a new car plant, like Rivian)? WMU has ranked programs in world class mfg techniques. In fact, our Supply Chain & Engineering Mgmt majors build upon world class mfg techniques. Organizations could benefit greatly by recruiting our students for positions related to SCM. Both the business & engineering colleges are accredited & serve employers with numerous fields of specialization (e.g., human resources, accounting, finance, sales, SCM, engineering, etc.). We also have an accredited MBA program that is very convenient for full-time workers in the area from companies such as Stryker, Denso, Kellogg, Pfizer, Flowserve, Whirlpool, etc., and potentially a new company in town. They could benefit immensely from our students & faculty that specialize in what is likely their core competency (e.g., engineering & mfg). They would be hard pressed to find this sort of mfg, engineering, supply chain, & business talent pool any place else.
I hope our political and business leaders are courting companies, because Kalamazoo has a lot to offer. Rivian wants to build a new factory. Go get them!
Just in case you have not noticed, there is an economic building boom going on at WMU & downtown Kalamazoo. https://lnkd.in/etVTDpa