Due to increased business demands and expected growth, a Bridgman-based manufacturer is expanding its operations in the region.
Eagle Technologies Group, a custom automation systems manufacturer and provider, announced it plans to establish an approximately 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 3545 Lakeshore Drive, St. Joseph, and create nearly 100 jobs to meet the needs of existing and new customers.
Eagle Technologies plans to invest about $6 million in developing a second manufacturing operation, which will include 150,000 square feet of open space, nine covered loading docks and a rail dock.
The new site in St. Joseph Charter Township is located on 26 acres near I-94 and will double the company’s combined workspace to roughly 255,000 square feet. Its current headquarters at 9850 Red Arrow Highway in Bridgman is 100,000 square feet, and the expanded space will support the increased business needs from clients.
Mike Koziel, president of Eagle Technologies, said the company’s existing floor space had become a “limiting factor” since customers were expecting shorter delivery times, which required faster project turnaround.
“We simply need to grow our in-house capabilities to meet both our customers’ expectations as well as grow our business,” said Koziel. “We are doing what it takes to not only meet our promised delivery dates and provide world-class equipment, but we’re growing as well.”
To support the development of the second facility and retain Eagle Technologies’ investment in the state, the Michigan Business Development Program awarded a $500,000 performance-based grant for the project. St. Joseph Charter Township also has offered property tax abatements to the company, according to a Michigan Economic Development Corp. press release.
“We are very pleased to be expanding our business in Southwest Michigan,” said Koziel. “As a Hanson Group company, our commitment to the support and growth of the local community remains steadfast.”
The site in St. Joseph was selected over competing locations in Indiana.
Eagle Technologies’ expansion project also will create a total of 100 high-skilled jobs to support and meet the needs for growth.
“At Eagle, we remain focused on providing an excellent work environment as well as competitive wages and benefits for all our teammates,” said Koziel. “Although several of our current teammates already come from the St. Joe and Benton Harbor area, our plans call for continued growth with applicants from this same area and beyond.”
Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, said the grant awarded to Eagle Technologies will support necessary job training to Southwest Michigan residents and help close the gap between the jobs that exist today and the available workforce.
“I am excited about this opportunity to build partnerships between career and technical education in schools, local businesses and our community,” said Proos.