A Chinese company that makes office furniture components is planning to build a new $4.9 million manufacturing plant that will employ 122 workers.
J-Star Motion Corp., which recently opening an office and warehouse facility at 83 South Main Street in Kent City, plans to build the factory at 500 West Street, in a building owned by Display Pack Inc., according to an announcement on Wednesday, Aug. 30, by The Right Place inc.
The new facility will support J-Star's American business growth, which centers on making linear motion and lifting systems for the office furniture industry.
In 2014, J-Star opened warehouse and administrative offices in Southern California in 2014, which is still serves as its American headquarters.
J-Star had considered expanded closer to its California base, but The Right Place recruiters were able to build a business case and convince J-Star leaders that the region's historically-significant furniture manufacturing roots was worth exploring, according to a Right Place news release.
"Securing this new Chinese Foreign Direct Investment is significant for our region," said Right Place President and CEO Birgit Klohs. "The investment reaffirms that West Michigan is a global destination for international investment and business expansion."
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is supporting the expansion effort with the approval of a $738,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.
J-Star's parent company, Jiecang Linear Motion Technology Co.,Ltd, makes linear actuators and lifting columns for use in medical and home care equipment. With an annual production capacity of 600,000 actuators - lifting columns and 200,000 control boxes, the 17-year-old company employs 300 at its headquarters in Xinching, China.
"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 of J-Star Motion Corp.
"The support available through The Right Place and the MEDC was a significant factor in their final site selection."