Attwood Corp. awarded MEGA grant to relocate operations to West Michigan that may add 51 jobs

Attwood Corporation in Lowell received its second Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) grant in two years to assist with a second consolidation of its out-of-state operations that will bring jobs to West Michigan.

The grant awarded Tuesday includes $500,000 over seven years and funding for training. The City of Lowell is scheduled to vote on Attwood's request for tax abatements.  If passed, the total package will reach an estimated $1 million in assistance to relocate 51 jobs from its Tulsa, Okla. company, MotorGuide, which is closing.

"We manufacture marine parts and accessories," says Chris Drees, president. "With the economic downturn, people are holding off buying boats until they see what the economy will do. The downturn is one of the key reasons we're consolidating the manufacturing footprint."

The relocation of what Drees terms "a considerable amount" of manufacturing and testing equipment from Oklahoma will create four new production lines at the Lowell plant.

While several of the 51 jobs will be assembly and production line positions, many will be quality engineer, mechanical engineer and industrial engineer positions.

In July 2008, Attwood received a High Technology MEGA grant to transfer its Lancaster, Texas operations and 50 jobs to Lowell. Attwood plans to fill those jobs by 2015. The total amount of investment between the two grants is about $3.8 million.

Attwood considered locations in Oklahoma, Georgia and Mexico, but decided to stay in Michigan.

"We worked with the City (of Lowell), the MEDC and the Right Place to make this happen," Drees says.

Source: Chris Drees, Attwood Corporation; Tim Mroz, Right Place, Inc.

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].