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Foundry Daily News

27. November 2008

USA - 800 new jobs for W.Michigan

STURGIS, Mich. - The state is offering tax breaks to bring in more than 4,000 jobs to the state ? 800 of which will be for the west side.

In Rothbury, Carlton Creek Ironworks is expanding, creating an expected 187 jobs. The company plans to expand its capacity to create iron elements for windmill castings.

In Wyoming, Control Tech Manufacturing plans to move into a building on Herman SW. The building is currently abandoned. The tax breaks will help fix up the building and create an additional 20 jobs.

Over in Sturgis, a developer has purchased the former Kirsch manufacturing plant, which closed in 2000. The plan is to renovate the facility for light industrial, manufacturing, warehousing and commercial use. The project is expected to bring in 600 jobs.

The abandoned building used to employee hundreds of workers. But once they moved overseas, those folks lost their jobs. Now a new owner is providing possible jobs and newfound hope to this small community.

"I've been going out of town, looking for work, trying to do side jobs, roofing," said Matt Shadix, a former employee.

He quit just months before the company moved their operations overseas.

"It affected a lot of people because they couldn't find work. So they just basically moved out of town," said Shadix.

Scott Bosgraaf of Bosgraaf Commercial LLC is the new owner of two separate properties, one on Broadus Street, the other on Prospect Street, and has big plans for both.

"So there's two projects, so he's taking on two different kirche buildings. one is a mixed use residential, and then the other project on broadus street is manufacturing, warehousing, light manufacturing," said Sturgis City Manager Mike Hughes.

The plans for the manufacturing sector and the approval for a Brownfield site were given the green light in Lansing on Monday.

Bosgraaf said he hopes to bring at least 1,600 jobs to the area eventually. In the short term, this could provide about 600 jobs, a much-needed shot in the arm to this community.

"We need that right now. We need work, 'cuz a lot of people around here are losing their houses, because they can't keep up with the mortgage. If we were going to want one project to happen in Sturgis, this would be it," Shadix said.

24 Hour News 8 spoke with the owner of the building who said those jobs will probably be created around May.

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