Cascade Die Casting Group Inc. is undergoing a $6 million expansion at its Sparta location that will add 30 new jobs and support the company’s growth.
The Gaines Township-based Tier 1 and Tier 2 aluminum and zinc die cast manufacturer is adding new equipment and manufacturing space at its Sparta facility, located at 9983 Sparta Ave., which houses the company’s Great Lakes Division. The investment follows a fire at the facility earlier this year.
The investment includes new equipment such as energy-efficient furnaces, new die cast equipment and advanced robotics and automation systems. The company also is adding a break room and lunch room for employees, plus new shipping docks in the back of the facility to improve workflow and traffic within the plant.
Cascade Die Casting Group CEO Pat Greene said the expansion represents a significant milestone and will allow the company to better serve customers and support employees.
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“This is a sign that we’ve been successful in the marketplace and continue to grow (and) continue to gain the confidence of our customers,” Greene told Crain’s Grand Rapids. “That’s the basis behind it. … We’re finding ways to be successful, and I credit our people for their ability to make improvements every day.”
Established in 1978, Cascade Die Casting Group supplies custom engineered products to various industries, including automotive, appliances, electronics, off-road sport and heavy truck. The company has two Michigan locations in the Grand Rapids area as well as operations in High Point, N.C.
According to Greene, the decision to expand in Michigan made sense because of customer location and ongoing improvements the company has pursued at its Sparta facility.
A key aspect of this expansion is supporting the company’s employees, Greene said.
“It’s very important to us from the standpoint of adding to employee well-being,” Greene said. “That’s a big part of what we’re doing, and … with me, it’s all about the people — it’s their ability to design innovative approaches to doing things, it’s their ability to improve out on the floor every day. Those are the things that differentiate us from our competitors and help make us successful.”
The 30 new jobs as part of the expansion are expected to be filled over the next three years, according to Greene.
He expects the expansion to wrap up before the end of the year.
The Right Place Inc., the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the village of Sparta have been working with the company on this expansion.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the MEDC to ensure Cascade Die Casting continues its growth right here in West Michigan,” Eric Icard, senior business development manager at The Right Place and project lead, said in a statement. “Since 1978, Cascade Die Casting has remained a pillar in Greater Grand Rapids, and this expansion serves as a testament to our region’s dedication to the manufacturing sector. We’re happy to see their continued success and we look forward to the exciting new opportunities they bring to the people in our communities as a result.”
The expansion project is being supported by a $180,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.