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JR Automation to invest $5.6M in expansion project COURTESY PHOTO

JR Automation to invest $5.6M in expansion project

BY Tuesday, June 28, 2016 12:29pm

HOLLAND — JR Automation Technologies LLC plans to invest $5.6 million to purchase a new facility in Holland Charter Township that will accommodate growth among its executive, engineering and other support staff.

The Holland-based manufacturer of custom automation equipment intends to hire more than 250 new workers in conjunction with its expansion into a new 100,000-square-foot facility, according to a statement.

Lakeshore Advantage, a Zeeland-based economic development firm, helped facilitate the expansion. In an email to MiBiz, a spokesperson for Lakeshore Advantage declined to share the location of the new facility as the sale is still in process.

JR Automation received a $2.2 million performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. that the manufacturer says will help offset hiring costs as a result of the expansion. The company received $45,000 in new hire training funds and up to $125,000 over five years in incumbent worker training funds from Michigan Works!, according to a statement.

According to JR Automation CEO Bryan Jones, the expansion will position the company to handle is planned growth in the coming years. 

“Certainly, (the expansion) keeps us on track with where we want to continue to grow the business,” Jones told MiBiz.

The company expects to generate more than $200 million in annual sales this year, up from $170 million in sales in 2014, Jones said.

Despite wide reports of a shrinking talent pool, Jones believes hiring 250 new workers is “very attainable.” To help aid in attracting that many workers, JR Automation has “invested heavily” in its human resources department and in talent acquisition efforts, he said.

In March 2015, JR Automation was acquired by Crestview Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm, as MiBiz reported. Previously, JR Automation was held by Grand Rapids-based Huizenga Group.

The company also received a $300,000 grant in 2013 for a $4.2 million project. The company previously invested $1.5 million in a 40,000-square-foot expansion at its Holland location, as MiBiz previously reported.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comment from JR Automation CEO Bryan Jones. 

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