Jobs flooding to West Michigan, though wages still lag

Employers like furniture maker Herman Miller in Ottawa County have added to the region’s economic growth. (Photo by Rex Larsen)

The announcement a month ago was merely the latest proof that West Michigan continues to spearhead the state’s jobs comeback.

The defense contractor Plasan North America declared plans to move its headquarters from Vermont to suburban Grand Rapids – and bring 120 white-collar jobs and $12.3 million in investment with it. That’s on top of 400 high-tech automotive manufacturing jobs recently added at a subsidiary of Plasan nearby.

A local economic development leader said such announcements have become all but routine lately, as the Grand Rapids region continues to add jobs in manufacturing, real estate and telecommunications.

“The resurgence has not stopped,” said Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place Inc., a West Michigan economic development organization.

A look at U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs…

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