Smiths Aerospace Plans Expansion

CASCADE — Smiths Aerospace intends to invest $2.4 million to expand its operations in Grand Rapids and will create 65 new jobs in the process.

The company plans to lease 15,000 square feet of office space and establish a business service center at a location yet to be announced.

The business service center will centralize the company’s existing financial functions at one location and process the financial transactions for all the company’s U.S. businesses, customers and vendors, said company spokeswoman Jennifer Villarreal. The company has about 30 production facilities and offices in the United States.

Smiths Aerospace designs and manufactures aerospace equipment and systems for both the military and civilian aviation industry, from fighters and transports to large civil, regional and business jets.

Villarreal said new hires will come on board as all the company’s financial functions are brought together at the service center. The company expects to have all the new employees in place by next summer.

The company had considered other locations in the United States for the business service center, she said. As an incentive for locating the center in Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. approved a Single Business Tax credit for Smiths that’s valued at more than $648,000 over six years.

Smiths is looking at a couple of potential locations for the center but hasn’t finalized a deal, Villarreal said.

CascadeTownship has proposed a 50 percent abatement of Smiths’ new personal property taxes, if the company chooses an office site within the township. The abatement would be valued at $40,000 over 10 years.

Smiths already employees more than 1,300 at its U.S. headquarters in CascadeTownship. The MEDC projects that new jobs created by the expansion will generate more than $16.7 million in personal income for Michigan workers over the life of the Single Business Tax credit.    

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