National Economic and Workforce Data Ranks Grand Rapids as third best in USA for Job Creation &

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (6/19/15) – The Right Place, Inc. will now have another powerful statistic to share with companies looking to expand or relocate to the area, thanks to this week’s announcement from Area Development Magazine that ranks the Grand Rapids-Wyoming MSA is the third best area in the country for businesses to prosper. The fifth annual Leading Locations study was published on Area Development’s website this week (link: Area Development Results). Grand Rapids ranked behind only Denver and Houston in the study that ranks 373 MSA’s. Equally important to Right Place officials is the fact that the study now measures the Grand Rapids-Wyoming MSA in the “big city” category and not “mid-sized city”. The largest population category for the study is considered to be MSA’s with populations of 600,000 or more.

Founded in 1965, Area Development Magazine is considered the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. Area Development is published quarterly with circulation to 44,000 executives and site location professionals. Now in its fifth year, the study uses objective data from government agencies and industry organizations. Area Development ranked 373 MSAs across 21 economic and work force indicators. These 21 indicators were pulled from seven (7) data sets (sub-categories) originating from four sources: the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Census American Community Survey and Moody’s Analytics. “With 373 MSAs all vying for attention, staying front-of-mind within the global site selection and business community is extremely difficult,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “Third-party studies like this validate the growth we are experiencing throughout the region and increases the overall perception of West Michigan as a global destination for business success.” According to Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development, “These Leading Locations are MSAs that have invested in themselves to create skilled workforces and pro-business environments. Many of these MSAs have strong educational assets and they’ve attracted the talented individuals that forward-looking companies need. Also, their diverse economies allowed them to emerge from the recession more quickly than other locales.” About GR MSA from the study Total employment in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming MSA is projected to grow 3.2 percent in 2015, according to the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Total unemployment in the region has fallen to about 4.6 percent — a result of a resurgence in manufacturing, construction, and retail. In October 2014 ranked Grand Rapids-Wyoming fifth-best in the country for regional economic growth on a per capita basis from 2010 through 2013, based on a study by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. At 7.8 percent, Grand Rapids’ per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate (2010–2013) more than doubled the national growth rate of 3.8 percent. Key industries are advanced manufacturing, life sciences, agribusiness, aerospace and defense, and information technology. With these productive science-based sectors, it is not surprising that Grand Rapids-Wyoming ranks 13 for science and engineering occupations as a percentage of total workforce. In 2014 Grand Rapids-Wyoming announced 22 projects totaling $315 million capital investment, creating 2,183 jobs. For example, Chinese auto supplier Dicastal North America decided to establish its first U.S. facility in nearby Greenville. The $140 million plant will hire 300 workers over the next four years to manufacture aluminum-alloy wheels. The company explored 35 sites in seven states before making its final decision. GR-Wyoming MSA Detailed Info: Rankings by Category • “Prime Workforce” Indicators: #30 • “Economic Strength” Indicators: #3 • “Recession Busting Cities” Indicators: #10 • “Year-Over-Year Growth Cities” Indicators: #4 Individual Indicators • Workforce 18-44 Years with Bachelors Degree or Higher (2013 Rank): #97 (2010-2013 3-Year Change) #91 • Total Inward Migration Bachelors Degree or Higher as % of Total Workforce (2013 Rank): #180 (2010-2013 3-Year Change) #26 Local Area Unemployment Rate • December 2014 Rank: #42 • 1-Year Change Rank (2013-2014): #28 • 3-Year Change Rank (2011-2014): #73 • 5-Year Change Rank (2009-2014): #11 Wage and Salary Growth: Average Hourly Earnings • 1-Year Change Rank (2013-2014): #62 • 3-Year Change Rank (2011-2014): #89 • 5-Year Change Rank (2009-2014): #178 Per Capita Real (GMP) Gross Metropolitan Product • December 2014 Rank: #125 • 1-Year Change Rank (2013-2014): #79 • 3-Year Change Rank (2011-2014): #68 • 5-Year Change Rank (2009-2014): #70 Manufacturing / Goods Producing Employment Growth as % of Total Population • 1-Year Change Rank (2013-2014): #41 • 3-Year Change Rank (2011-2014): #18 • 5-Year Change Rank (2009-2014): #13 Employment Growth as % of Total Population • 1-Year Change Rank (2013-2014): #14 • 3-Year Change Rank (2011-2014): #11 • 5-Year Change Rank (2009-2014): #10 COMPLETE METHODOLOGY CAN BE FOUND HERE: About The Right Place, Inc. The Right Place, Inc. is a regional non-profit economic development organization founded in 1985 and supported through investments from the private and public sector. Its mission is to promote economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and technology in West Michigan by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion and attraction efforts.

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