Amway marked the official start of construction at a new $81 million manufacturing plant for its nutritional product line, Nutrilite, with a ceremonial steel beam signing event at Ada this week.
It reflects an ongoing $375 million manufacturing expansion at sites around the world, including two in Ada.
The 317,000-square-foot facility is expected to require the hiring of 200 more employees over three years, and will increase production of Nutrilite tablets and softgel capsules, products sold globally only by Amway independent distributors. Fifty new jobs will be added during 2014, with production planned to start in 2015.
Last week, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation approved a $1.6 million Michigan Business Development Program incentive from the Michigan Strategic Fund to Access Business Group LLC, an Amway affiliate, for construction of the Nutrilite plant in Ada. Ada Township also granted an industrial facilities tax exemption for 12 years.
Amway said in an announcement that the MEDC incentive played a key role in its selection of Michigan over competing sites in other states.
Amway’s Nutrilite expansion plans are nationwide: it has announced that it is investing nearly $180 million to expand U.S. manufacturing and processing capacity to meet growing global demand for Nutrilite vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements. Two of the investments are being made in Ada while the other two are in California and Washington.
Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos said in a joint statement that Nutrilite is the world's No. 1 selling brand of vitamins and dietary supplements.
"Over the last 79 years, Nutrilite has grown from a Quonset hut in southern California to a best-in-class research, agribusiness, manufacturing, vitamin and dietary supplement organization," said Jim Siewertsen, vice president of Nutrilite operations. "The new Spaulding Avenue site is the next chapter in our rich history."
In bringing a second nutrition product manufacturing plant to West Michigan, Van Andel and DeVos said they have been working in partnership with the MEDC and The Right Place and that “this type of collaboration is critical in driving long-term business growth across the state."
"Amway, with more than 4,000 employees currently in Michigan, is a major employer in our state and its decision to expand here says much about our improved business climate," said MEDC President/CEO Michael A. Finney in a written statement. "Amway's continued commitment sends a message that will be heard around the world that Michigan's highly competitive business climate and tremendous work force capabilities mean real opportunities for leading edge businesses."
Nutrition product sales last year accounted for 45 percent, or $4.7 billion, of Amway sales. Alticor, parent company to Amway and Access Business Group LLC, reported 2011 sales of $10.9 billion.
Dignitaries at the groundbreaking included Republican Congressman Justin Amash and Right Place President/CEO Birgit Klohs.
"Amway's investment is very encouraging to The Right Place, and to the region as well, as this announcement demonstrates that manufacturing remains strong and growing in West Michigan. We applaud Amway for expanding the Nutrilite brand operations and workforce in its hometown,” said Klohs. “We are pleased to see 200 new Amway jobs added to the region.”
The overall investment will be in four U.S. locations, two of which will produce nutrition products for Amway in Michigan for the first time. The four Nutrilite projects are:
- Spaulding Avenue site in Ada.
- Amway World Headquarters complex in Ada, where a new nutrition powder products plant unveiled Feb. 15 is expected to start production this year. The investment is $24 million and will create 50 jobs.
- Buena Park, Calif.: Begun last year, it includes a new granulation plant to support tablet manufacturing; new research and development facilities and pilot laboratories; and a two-story professional office building. The total investment is $42 million, but employment numbers will remain unchanged.
- Quincy, Wash.: Announced April 2, a new extraction and concentration operation for ingredients grown at the company's organic farm operations in nearby Trout Lake. The investment is $31.8 million and will create 30 new jobs.
Other Amway plants and facilities are being built or planned for India, Vietnam and China.