Metal manufacturer receives MBE certification



A Grandville manufacturer of progressive metal stampings, fabrications and assemblies has received Minority Business Enterprise certification from the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, which is an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

Jireh Metal Products began the certification process in April and received the MBE certification last month.

Michael Davenport, president and CEO of Jireh, said the certification is based on a company’s ownership structure, specifically who is in control of day-to-day operations of the organization.

“There is a long list of things you must provide to show compliance,” he said.

Certification will allow Jireh to provide support to many companies, including current customers that have supplier diversity programs in place and those that recognize that a diverse supply base offers a competitive advantage in today's multicultural business economy.

“This is an exciting time for the company,” Davenport said. “We compete to win every day on the basis of quality, on-time delivery and competitive pricing. We are thrilled to add MBE certification to the Jireh value proposition.”

Davenport acquired the company, which services the office furniture, hardware and automotive industries, in February with partners Andy Otteman and Gregory VandenBosch.

Ron Wierenga had owned Jireh since 2000, and retained an ownership share.

Davenport said the 30-year-old company has a strong reputation and he plans to build on that foundation.

“Our decision to buy the company was the opportunity to get in on something that is really good,” he said. “We want to build upon the company’s reputation with existing customers and by expanding into areas where it makes sense.”

Otteman said becoming MBE-certified would help Jireh achieve that goal.

“We compete against other companies each day,” he said. “For the customers we serve, in the industries we serve, MBE certification is important to them.”

Davenport said the MBE certification also reflects the company’s workforce of nearly 100.

“It’s certainly a diverse organization; about 23 percent of our employee base is nonwhite,” he said.

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