GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 26, 2021 — Yesterday, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced 319 new good-paying jobs in Kent County as a result of Gen3 Defense and Aerospace LLC and Blackmer, two new company expansions supported by the Michigan Strategic Fund, further signaling a continued economic recovery in West Michigan.

Blackmer, founded in 1925, plans to construct a new manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids to house assembly, paint and shipping functions. Parent company PSG expects to invest more than $7 million in the project, which will create up to 50 high-wage jobs with the support of a $350,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Blackmer chose Michigan for the project over competing sites in other states. The company is committed to utilizing Michigan suppliers and has a strong desire to expand further in Michigan in the future.

“Grand Rapids has a rich and long manufacturing history, and these company expansions are a welcome addition,” said state Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids). “Over the last nearly one hundred years, Blackmer has proven itself to be a dedicated and committed member of the Grand Rapids community. I am looking forward to seeing how their newest endeavor adds to that legacy.”

Gen3 was founded in 2020 and recently secured a large five-year contract. To meet its new responsibilities, the company is expanding into a larger facility in Kent County that will increase manufacturing capacity and additional team members. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $8.7 million and create up to 219 high-wage jobs, resulting in a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Gen3 chose Michigan for the project over a competing site in Florida.

“I am ecstatic Gen 3 Defense and Aerospace will continue growing our economy and delivering high-quality jobs to Grand Rapids,” said state Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids). “The investments from Gen3 Defense and Aerospace are part of a business ecosystem that builds on our region’s technical and skilled manufacturing capacity. Now, our job is to invest in Michigan so we can continue to attract and retain quality jobs in a competitive international market.”