Bissell invests $9 million in leading-edge R&D facility, creates 106 related jobs

Deborah Johnson Wood

What was once a 1950s receiving dock at Bissell Inc. is now a $9 million state-of-the-art research and development facility and headquarters for the company's industrial design and marketing divisions.

The renovation transformed the warehouse into a two-level, 32,000-square-foot building equipped for video conferencing with Bissell's three other R&D facilities in South Korea and China.

The 134-year-old company at 2345 Walker Ave., Walker, produces floor care machines and products for a worldwide market.

"We added new chemistry labs and equipment just prior to this development," says Jim Krzeminski, executive vice president and chief customer officer. "We received a MEGA (Michigan Economic Growth Authority) grant of $2.4 million over 10-year period, and part of that grant was to create 106 jobs. We have about one-third of those positions filled."

Krzeminski says Bissell aims to fill the remaining positions for R&D engineers, chemists, test technicians, advanced development engineers and others over the coming months.

Part of the job growth is due to the company in-sourcing development of the Bissell and Woolite brands of carpet cleaning chemicals in 2009, Krzeminski says.

"Over time as our business model is changing, we make the proper investments to make innovative products worldwide," says Krzeminski. "The space is indicative of our overall investment in the community and in the innovation at Bissell."

Source: Jim Krzeminski, Bissell Inc.

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Development News tips can be sent to info@rapidgrowthmedia.com.
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