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L3Harris Technologies Inc. has announced a nearly $2.6 million expansion in Cascade Township. L3Harris Technologies Inc. has announced a nearly $2.6 million expansion in Cascade Township. COURTESY PHOTO

L3Harris announces $2.6M expansion in Cascade Township

BY Wednesday, October 20, 2021 12:48pm

CASCADE TWP. — L3Harris Technologies Inc., a global tech company that supplies the defense industry, has announced a nearly $2.6 million expansion in the Grand Rapids area.

The Melbourne, Fla.-based L3Harris — which specializes in technology that ranges from missile warning and defense systems to electronic warfare and autonomous systems — announced today that it is investing $2.58 million into its operations at 5353 52nd St. SE in Cascade Township. The project is expected to create between 34 to 50 new jobs at the facility that currently employs 234 people.

The company considered a variety of sites across the United States where it could consolidate its avionics products manufacturing facilities, and eventually landed on the Cascade Township location.

L3Harris made the announcement in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and West Michigan-based economic development organization The Right Place Inc.

In working with those parties, L3Harris was able to leverage a $500,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The MEDC is supporting the expansion through the Michigan Strategic Fund.

“With assistance from The Right Place and their partners at the MEDC, we will expand our Grand Rapids operations to meet our growing, diverse client base,” L3Harris President of Commercial Aviation Alan Crawford said in a statement. “The Greater Grand Rapids region offers the skilled employee base and thriving business environment we need, so we look forward to our continued success here.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement that the expansion will “create good-paying jobs in West Michigan, further boost our state as a defense hub, and support business growth. We will build on our economic momentum to usher in a new era of prosperity for our families and communities.” 

L3Harris Technologies generates $18 billion in annual revenue and employs 48,000 people. The company develops solutions for use via air, land and sea.

“L3Harris Technologies’ decision to expand its Cascade Township operations over competing regions across the country is a win for our region,” said The Right Place President and CEO Randy Thelen. “Greater Grand Rapids competes on both a national and global scale for hi-tech, innovative companies like L3Harris. Winning projects of this caliber further strengthens our defense and R&D cluster, while bringing high-paying jobs to our community.”

Over the summer, L3Harris completed the sale of its Combat Propulsion Systems operation in Muskegon Township. The company found a buyer in German manufacturer RENK Group, which purchased the operation for $400 million.

RENK Group used the acquisition to establish what is now called RENK America, which uses the Muskegon facility as its global headquarters.

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