Lakeshore Advantage: Supporting West Michigan Manufacturers

Lakeshore Advantage supports West Michigan manufacturers by launching an Industry 4.0 campaign 

Helping Local Employers Embrace the Future of Manufacturing

With support from The Right Place, Grater Muskegon Economic Development, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Lakeshore Advantage has launched a West Michigan Industry 4.0 Campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to increase manufacturers’ readiness when it comes to smart manufacturing technology adoption so that manufacturers can benefit from the improved efficiency, higher revenues, and increased innovation capabilities industry 4.0 provides.

“With one in three of our region’s jobs in manufacturing, Industry 4.0 technologies are essential to West Michigan’s economic health. This campaign will help to secure our region’s place as an Industry 4.0 leader, recognising West Michigan as the place to be for leading-edge manufacturing technologies. We are grateful to our partners for collaborating on this initiative and are excited to continue working with employers and smart manufacturing implementers as we focus on our region’s industry success,” said Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage President.


State Grant Funding

Lakeshore Advantage received US$92,787 in state grant funding to help increase the readiness of manufacturers to adopt industry 4.0. The organisation has also been in close collaboration with regional economic development partners, which has allowed Lakeshore Advantage to extended its initiative to Ottawa, Allegan, Muskegon, and Kent.

"We are eager to launch this campaign to help our region’s manufacturers increase their global competitiveness through Industry 4.0 resources. We need to drive new prosperity in our community, so it’s imperative that we empower businesses with the education and assets necessary for them to benefit from smart technologies and automation,” said Randy Thelen, President & CEO, The Right Place, Inc. 

What Does the Campaign Include?

Lakeshore Advantage’s West Michigan Industry 4.0 Campaign offers a readiness assessment, informational case study videos, and a website for employers to learn more about the statewide resources and tools available. In doing so, employers will be able to better understand industry 4.0 and the benefit it has in their relevant manufacturing areas, as well as connect them to next step strategies. 

"We strongly encourage area manufacturers to visit the website where they can hear directly from other companies about how Industry 4.0 has improved their business. They can also access the assessment tool on the site at no cost. It will take them through a series of detailed questions to help identify areas within their organization that may need attention if they are going to remain competitive. This is something that every manufacturer should take advantage of,” said Morgan Carroll, Director of Business Development for Greater Muskegon Economic Development. 


“For Michigan to remain a global leader in manufacturing, it’s critical that we work together with manufacturers across the regional supply chain to ensure we are keeping up, and continuing to lead, in the next revolution in manufacturing. We are pleased to support these efforts in West Michigan to help prepare our manufacturers to adopt industry 4.0 technologies and reimagine how processes work and products are made in the 21st century,” added Natalie Chmiko, Vice President, Pure Michigan Business Connect and International Trade, MEDC.

“Industry 4.0 helps make automation cost-effective, flexible, and accessible to smaller job-shop manufacturers like Impact Fab. Integrating Industry 4.0 practices helped us increase productivity by over 3 times from some of our previous manufacturing methods,” concluded Ross Haan, President of Impact Fab and an adopter of Industry 4.0.

To find out more about Michigan’s state efforts to prepare the manufacturing industry for the future, click here.


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