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LG CHEM MICHIGAN ANNOUNCES NEW FACILITY ADDITION

February 15, 2017 HOLLAND, Mich. — LG Chem Michigan Inc. (LGCMI) said today it will build a 100,000 square-foot addition at the company’s Holland battery cell manufacturing facility. LGCMI plans to break ground on the new addition in March and occupy the space by August of 2017.

The new building will expand upon the company’s recent growth into battery pack assembly with multiple assembly lines.  The addition is expected to create as many as 150 new jobs in Holland over the years ahead.

“The demand for our battery packs and cells continues to grow with the electrification of vehicles,” said Nick Kassanos, president of LG Chem Michigan. “We’re excited to keep expanding our facility and our team to maintain our leadership in this thriving industry.”

LGCMI manufactures battery cells and packs for electric vehicles including the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid and the 2017 Chevy Volt.  LG Chem is expanding the facility to meet growing production demand of lithium-ion polymer battery cells and battery packs.

“We have been working side-by-side with LG Chem Michigan since the beginning of their presence in Holland,” said Jennifer Owens, president, Lakeshore Advantage. "We are pleased to assist them with their continued, significant growth and value LG Chem MI as a primary employer and employer of choice in our region.”

About LG Chem Michigan
LG Chem Michigan Inc. (LGCMI) manufactures large lithium-ion polymer battery cells and packs for electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage applications. LGCMI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LG Chem, a South Korean company that has global operations focused on petrochemical products, information/electronic materials, and energy solutions. LG Chem is part of the LG Group.  www.lgchem.com
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LAKESHORE ADVANTAGE ANNOUNCES 2016 ECONOMIC SUCCESSES

1/31/2017 - Zeeland, Michigan – Lakeshore Advantage, the non-profit economic development organization for Ottawa and northern Allegan counties, released the region’s year-end economic successes to a gathering of over 100 business and community leaders at a private investor gathering this month. The meeting featured special guest Steve Arwood, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“There’s a long list of projects that happen in this community, and that’s not by accident,” said Steve Arwood. “West Michigan is setting the example through your local economic development efforts for the rest of the state.”

2016 Regional economic successes include:
• Twenty-six business expansion projects, resulting in $205 million in private investment and 1,052 jobs.
• Nearly eleven million dollars in government funding leveraged for area businesses, employees and the community.

An example of this funding includes the 34 companies that attained $1.37 million in Skilled Trades Training Fund grants to upgrade the skills of new and existing employees, with support of West Michigan Works!.

• Launching MichiganSmartCoast.com and supporting 102 human resource professionals through round table and educational sessions.
• Supporting 225 entrepreneurs through programming and education, and mentoring 29 entrepreneurs to navigate their next business milestones.
• Officially achieving Holland SmartZone status to dedicate resources to entrepreneurial efforts.
• Meeting with 375 local business leaders to listen to successes and challenges, and create valuable connections for growth.
A digital version of the full report is available online at: www.lakeshoreadvantage.com/investorguide.

Addressing the investors at the event, Mike Ramirez, chair of the Lakeshore Advantage Board of Directors said, “Because of your work and investment, the Lakeshore Advantage accomplishments of 2016 are also yours to celebrate.”

Among the major business expansions announced in 2016, the Kent Quality Foods’ new facility in Jamestown Township represents the largest single project investment at $34.8 million. JR Automation’s expansion in Holland Township is on track to create 250 jobs, the most jobs created for a single project in 2016.

“Having the supporting structure of Lakeshore Advantage, MEDC, Michigan Works! and Holland Charter Township allows JR to focus on our operational business growth in Michigan,” said Bryan Jones, CEO, JR Automation. “West Michigan and the talented people who choose to work at JR are huge contributors to our continued success and expansion.  We are excited to offer hundreds of new job opportunities to both experienced engineers and new grads.”

Lakeshore Advantage reports a return on investment of $170 for every one dollar invested in the organization in 2016. 

About Lakeshore Advantage
Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit economic development organization that catalyzes resources to drive economic growth in West Michigan. Lakeshore Advantage works to maintain a robust primary business base at all stages of development, from startups to large world-class corporations. Lakeshore Advantage is the administrator of the Holland SmartZone.

Lakeshore Advantage links area companies with the tools and resources needed for continued growth. In 2016, Lakeshore Advantage assisted with 26 growth projects resulting in over $205 million dollars in new private sector investment and 1,052 new jobs. 

LOCAL LEADERS TO SHARE RAW STORIES AT FAILURE:LAB HOLLAND

1/19/2017 - Holland, Michigan – Failure:Lab, an international movement with the mission of eliminating the fear of failure and encouraging intelligent risk taking, is coming to Holland’s Park Theatre on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Community members, entrepreneurs, students and anyone looking to learn from raw, personal, thought-provoking stories and lessons of failure, coupled with live entertainment, are encouraged to attend.

“These stories are meant to inspire us to not fear failure, but rather view it as a stepping stone to other great things to come,” said Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage president. “Entrepreneurs who often experience higher rates of risk, and therefore often higher risks of failure, should prepare to be doubly inspired by these stories.”

Failure:Lab is hosted by Lakeshore Advantage in partnership with the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce and is the first Holland SmartZone event this year. Given the SmartZone’s role in assisting startups and budding businesses to achieve their next milestones, entrepreneurs and community members with big dreams are specifically encouraged to attend.

“With this incredible lineup of talented business and community leaders making themselves vulnerable in this setting, the stories and lessons are sure to challenge, impact and inspire,” said Jane Clark, president, West Coast Chamber. "Failure:Lab Holland is a must-attend event for those looking to grow personally and professionally.”

The event will showcase personal stories of failure from six successful West Michigan business and community leaders. They are:

  • Austin Asamoa-Tutu, Director of Technical Services, Worksighted
  • Luciano Hernandez, President, Tiger Studios
  • Jennifer Owens, President, Lakeshore Advantage
  • David Tebo, Superintendent, Hamilton Community Schools
  • Pastor Willie James Watt Jr. Founder & Executive Director, ESCAPE Ministries
  • Dr. Mirka Wilderer, Vice President & General Manager, Evoqua Water Technologies

Local entertainers, mostly musical, will showcase their talents between stories. Audience engagement will be supported with Twitter prompt and designated moments of reflection throughout the evening.

Consumers Energy, with a history rooted in entrepreneurism, is the title sponsor of Failure:Lab Holland. Consumers Energy was born over 130 years ago when a Jackson, MI-based farmer with an electricity hobby started a small business lighting up streets in downtown Jackson.

“Consumers Energy is excited to partner with Lakeshore Advantage through Failure:Lab as another innovative way to support business entrepreneurs and the local community,” said Lisa Gustafson, the company’s executive director of Business Customer Care.

“We started small, and today are proud to deliver hometown service through 7,500 coworkers across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as one of the state’s largest and most enduring companies.”

The Park Theatre is located at 248 South River Avenue, Holland, Michigan. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students, and are available at http://failure-lab.com/events/lakeshore-advantage/.

About Failure:Lab
Failure:Lab began in 2012 by a group of professionals in West Michigan, in an effort to eliminate the fear of failure and encourage intelligent risk taking. The event showcases local community members as storytellers and entertainers who share personal stories of failure, publish crowdsourced lessons, and instigate discussion.

About Lakeshore Advantage
Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit economic development organization that catalyzes resources to drive economic growth in West Michigan. Lakeshore Advantage works to maintain a robust primary business base at all stages of development, from startups to large world-class corporations. Lakeshore Advantage is the administrator of the Holland SmartZone.

Lakeshore Advantage links area companies with the tools and resources needed for continued growth in Ottawa County. In 2016, Lakeshore Advantage assisted with 26 growth projects resulting in over $205 million dollars in new private sector investment and 1,052 new jobs.

LAKESHORE ADVANTAGE WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS

1/17/17, Zeeland, Michigan – Lakeshore Advantage announces the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors:

• Scott Brooks, President, Brooks Capital Management and Partner, IPA
• Steve Ramus, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Perrigo
• Dr. Mirka Wilderer, Vice President and General Manager, Evoqua Water Technologies 

The 20-member Lakeshore Advantage Board of Directors, comprised primarily of private sector business leaders, directs the overall strategic policy of the non-profit economic development organization.

“Our newest board members bring a broader perspective of investment experience and manufacturing technologies while widening our represented geographical footprint to include northern Ottawa and Allegan counties,” said Mike Ramierz, Lakeshore Advantage board chair. “Mirka, Scott and Steve are perfect additions to our already robust team.”

Lakeshore Advantage board members serve a two-year term. Service for these three new members began January 1, 2017 and will continue through the end of 2019.

The three were introduced at Lakeshore Advantage’s Annual Meeting and will replace outgoing member Chelsea Brown, Human Resources Manager, Metal Flow. One board member seat remains vacant.

A full list of the Lakeshore Advantage Board of Directors can be viewed on the Lakeshore Advantage website: http://lakeshoreadvantage.com/index.php/who-we-are/board-of-directors

Left to right: Scott Brooks, President, Brooks Capital Management and Partner, IPA; Steve Ramus, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Perrigo; and Dr. Mirka Wilderer, Vice President and General Manager, Evoqua Water Technologies.

About Lakeshore Advantage
Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit economic development organization that catalyzes resources to drive economic growth in West Michigan. In 2016, Lakeshore Advantage assisted companies with 26 growth projects resulting in over $205 million dollars in new private sector investment and 1,052 jobs.  Lakeshore Advantage links area companies with the tools and resources needed for continued growth in Ottawa County. More information is available at www.lakeshoreadvantage.com.
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