Tesa Tape launches $36M expansion in Sparta

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Courtesy Tesa Tape

An adhesive manufacturer in Sparta is kicking off its second multimillion-dollar expansion since 2018.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) on Monday, Oct. 11, to announce that Tesa SE, dba Tesa Tape, a global manufacturer of pressure-sensitive adhesives, is expanding in its plant at 324 S. Union St. in Sparta with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund.

The project is expected to require a capital investment of $36 million and create at least 25 jobs.

Construction begins this month and will run through June 2022. Production in the space will begin between the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023.

“Michigan’s business climate and highly skilled manufacturing workforce are creating an environment where businesses like Tesa Tape can thrive and grow, creating good jobs around the state,” Whitmer said. “This expansion in Sparta cements Tesa Tape’s presence in West Michigan and adds momentum to our efforts to ensure Michigan’s manufacturers lead the way in advanced manufacturing and workforce needs. With the help of companies like Tesa Tape, we can build back our state’s economy stronger than ever.”

Tesa Plant Sparta is a subsidiary of Germany-based Tesa SE, a leading manufacturer of self-adhesive solutions serving the appliance, automotive, building supply, electronics, industrial, paper and print, and transportation industries. One hundred twenty-five years ago, the world’s first technical adhesive tape for patching bicycle tires was invented at Beiersdorf AG (dba Nivea), the parent company of Tesa SE. The company has offered special adhesive tapes for the automotive sector for 90 years. In 2021, the Tesa group has nearly 5,000 employees worldwide. Tesa Plant Sparta began operating in 1982, the company’s first operations outside of Europe at the time. Today, Tesa Plant Sparta produces special tapes for cars, appliances and packaging, and it employs 125 people.

The company is experiencing continued growth and plans to expand its operations in the village of Sparta. A major component of this project will include adding state-of-the-art equipment with eco-friendly production technology.

“The enormous investment in our Tesa plant in Sparta is a big step toward being able to offer customers from important industrial sectors — such as the automotive and building industries — more sustainable and innovative self-adhesive technologies and products,” said Daniel Germain, Tesa regional manager North America. “For almost 40 years, the Tesa plant in Sparta has been closely linked to the region and is an important local employer. I am very happy that our economic commitment is supported by the Michigan Strategic Fund.”

The project aligns with MEDC’s strategic focus of supporting businesses in advanced manufacturing. The project will provide jobs to area residents with the opportunity to gain transferrable skills in advanced manufacturing. Tesa also provides training opportunities and places priority on promoting from within.

“Tesa’s continued growth in Michigan reinforces the message that we are creating the momentum to build a championship economy here in the state,” said Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of the MEDC and president and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “We’re pleased to work with our local partners to support the growth of Tesa Tape in Michigan and look forward to working with them as they continue to grow and add jobs here.”

The village of Sparta offered a 50% property tax abatement in support of the project.

The Right Place worked closely with Tesa and the MEDC to ensure the company continued its growth in the region rather than other out-of-state locations that were considered.

“Tesa’s decision to expand in greater Grand Rapids is a prime example of the region’s status as a globally competitive destination for business,” said Olivia Lanctot, business development coordinator and project lead for The Right Place. “Over the past 35 years, our region has established itself as a destination for business success. We have skilled talent, economic growth potential and an incredibly strong business community that allows us to position ourselves advantageously on a global scale.”

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