How Do We Fix The Manufacturing Skills Gap? Lots Of Ways!

October 16, 2018 in In The News

It’s a common complaint and worry among manufacturers today that they face a serious skills gap. There’s been plenty of ink spilled about the critical need for people trained in the skilled trades: electricians, welders, machinists, and so on.

But the gap is much greater than the skilled trades, and goes to a breakdown in fundamental knowledge in working with one’s hands, along with the dwindling desire to work in manufacturing. In a country where a generation ago shop classes were nearly universal in high schools, and where most young people grew up learning to use basic hand tools and to troubleshoot and repair basic home and auto breakdowns, it’s now safer to assume that today’s young people have none of that training and none of those skills. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer of our youth see work in manufacturing as a desirable career.

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In Muskegon, plans to make the city a food processing powerhouse–and dramatically reshape the region’s economy

September 12, 2018 in In The News

There is much talk of a changing economy in Muskegon, and for good reason: the downtown has transformed from a series of dusty, empty roads following the demise of the Muskegon Mall to a bustling commercial hub filled with restaurants and shops, businesses are moving (and moving back) to the city, and there’s significant growth in everything from the educational landscape to the local beer industry. Continue reading »

Efforts to turn Muskegon into food processing hub continue

September 10, 2018 in In The News

MUSKEGON, MI – Less than a year into its work, the West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative is touting its successes.

The initiative seeks to grow West Michigan’s food processing capacity and turn Muskegon into a key shipping port for those goods. It launched during fall 2017.

Since its inception, the organization has secured funding, conducted studies, reviewed best practices, developed educational curriculum, identified industrial park locations and is researching a food processing incubation and pilot manufacturing center.

 

 

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Awards $50,000 Grant To West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative

September 10, 2018 in In The News

Major Next Step in Expanding “Farm to Table” Concept with Support of West Michigan Farmers and Food Processors

MUSKEGON, Mich., September 6, 2018 – A $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will enable substantial progress for the West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative.
“USDA is committed to supporting Michigan agriculture and helping rural communities prosper,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Jason Allen. “This is a great example of how we are working with numerous partners to boost local producers and create jobs.” Continue reading »

Top 10 Food Business Incubators that Help you Launch your Startup

August 22, 2018 in Infrastructure

 

The food industry is constantly evolving to keep up with rapidly changing consumer preferences. With the growing emphasis on eating local/organic foods, veganism, entomophagy and portion-control, there is no dearth of market opportunities for food startups. However, food entrepreneurs face numerous challenges while taking their product to the market. Some of these challenges include being able to afford a commercial kitchen space, maintaining a high level of hygiene, renting equipment, hiring a food scientist, and of course, funding the business, especially in the initial stages.  Food business incubators and accelerators are helping these startups and small businesses grow by providing them with capital investment, well-equipped commercial kitchen spaces, access to networking classes, packaging and distribution support, and even consulting services.  Here are some food incubators that are helping startups realize their business ideas.

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Plan to turn old Muskegon farmers market site into food processing facility

July 30, 2018 in In The News
Developers announce plans to build food processing facility at Muskegon old farmers market property.

 

MUSKEGON, Mich. – Developers hope to begin construction on a $5-7 million food research and manufacturing facility on property that for 50 years was home to the Muskegon farmers market on Yuba Street.

Core Realty is already seeking tenant commitments for the new Food Forward FARM (Food, Agriculture, Research and Manufacturing) incubator and manufacturing facility.

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Developer plans business incubator and food plant

July 28, 2018 in In The News
July 27, 2018

A commercial real estate developer in the region is planning to build a multi-faceted food processing facility and business incubator on the site of a former farmers market.

Muskegon-based Core Development, the project’s owner, said this week it is planning a three-phase project called the Food Forward FARM (food, agriculture, research and manufacturing) Incubator/Manufacturing Facility.

The facility is expected to cost between $5-$7 million. It would be located on the site of the former Muskegon Farmers Market in downtown Muskegon, at 731 Yuba St.

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Food processing incubator proposed at old Muskegon farmers market

July 26, 2018 in In The News

MUSKEGON, MI – The former Muskegon farmers market on Yuba Street could be redeveloped into a food research and manufacturing facility.

The Food Forward FARM (food, agriculture, research and manufacturing) incubator and manufacturing facility is already available for lease ahead of development.

The plan is to erect a $5-$7 million, 100,000- to 120,000-square-foot facility on the site of the former farmers’ market at 731 Yuba St., according to a news release.

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Product transparency driving sales growth in consumer good

June 15, 2018 in Hot Topics-Food for Thought

By Patti Zarling, FOOD DIVE

Published June 14, 2018

Brief

  • Nielsen said consumers look for transparency in three key attributes when it comes to making food purchases in the fast-moving consumer goods arena: sustainability, processing claims (such as organic or natural) and ingredients. With access to a lot of information, shoppers can be selective and look for products and services that meet their specific needs.

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USDA action to supply Michigan cherries to schools, food banks

June 4, 2018 in In The News

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) action will see Michigan cherries purchased for food banks and schools, giving them nutritious additions while strengthening the state’s cherry industry.

“In Michigan, we grow more tart cherries than any state in the country,” U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who previously urged the USDA to take action on behalf of the Michigan cherry industry, said. “While there’s still more work to do to level the playing field for our producers, this new support is an important step to help our cherry growers weather an unfair trade imbalance.”

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