With 33 employees currently on staff at its Grand Rapids location and plans to add nine more this year, software developer Atomic Object
is doubling its office space to accommodate growth by moving from its current 5,000-square-foot headquarters at 941 Wealthy St. SE to a renovated 11,000-square-foot building at 1034 Wealthy St. SE.
"We are very excited about the move and this new journey for Atomic Object," said Atomic Object CEO Carl Erickson in a press release last week, adding that regional development organization The Right Place, Inc
. played a big role in bringing together the state and the local resources to facilitate the move.
TRP collaborated with Michigan Economic Development Corporation to develop a high-tech business support package, including a performance-based grant through the Michigan Development Program.
Megan Sall, business development manager for The Right Place, Inc., says keeping tech start-ups like Atomic Object in West Michigan is an increasingly important focus for economic development organizations in the state, who want to "get the word out about West Michigan as a place for technology and talent," in an industry that since 2009 has increased employment by 13.8 percent throughout the 13-county region, above the national average of 9.4 percent.
"First and foremost, I think people don't quite understand the excellent level of knowledge and skill we have here in West Michigan when it comes to technology, whether it's software development firms or tech consulting groups or people making technology products," Sall says. "…Traditionally, when we think of industry in West Michigan, we think of manufacturing and we think of healthcare as the two big drivers and the thing that's so important about technology is that it's pushing those other industries forward. Changes to those industries are being driven by technology."
As a result, Atomic Object plans for nine more hires at its new location in Grand Rapids, as well as 11 more hires to its Detroit location and the addition of 13 new employees to its Ann Arbor staff, creating a total investment of $2.9 million including its upgraded headquarters.
Though Atomic Object isn’t planning to expand into its new Wealthy St. space until later this year, they are already accepting applicants for full-time software developers and designers online.
"I think the average wage for tech workers in Grand Rapids right now is around $84,000," Sall says. "So it's a great wage, interesting work, flexible schedule. We want to do a lot of growth in that sector because West Michigan is a great community, it's got an awesome quality of life, there's really interesting companies to work for here and technology is really moving all of our other industries forward."
Visit The Right Place, Inc.
online for more information about the organization. To learn more about careers at Atomic Object, visit www.atomicobject.com.
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Atomic Object/The Right Place, Inc.