Clarion Technologies Inc. will use a $600,000 grant that will help it keep its Greenville, Mich., injection molding plant open and retain 200 jobs there.
The state of Michigan announced Nov. 18 that it has awarded the grant to Montcalm County to pay for worker training at the Greenville plant. In addition, the molder is slated to invest $1.3 million in improvements at the site.
Clarion officials told the state they could not keep the plant open without the new training funds. Executives were not available to discuss details.
Production was in jeopardy at the plant because Clarion's biggest single customer, Swedish appliance maker Electrolux AB, is closing its facility in Greenville and moving the work to Ciudad Ju rez, Mexico.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Clarion also is opening its own molding plant in Ciudad Ju rez to work with a variety of appliance makers in the region, but now can keep the Greenville plant open as well.
The company, which makes shelves, trays and containers for appliances as well as auto parts, has been restructuring its operations while working to maintain its financial footing.
In January, it sold its South Haven, Mich., plant for $1.6 million and will consolidate production there into its Caledonia, Mich., facility. It combined work from two buildings in Pella, Iowa, into one.
Clarion has seen its sales climb this year, with $112 million in sales for the first nine months of 2005, compared with $88.3 million for the same period a year earlier. It posted a net loss of $3 million for the year so far, according to documents filed Nov. 21 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but saw a profit of $392,000 for the third quarter, ended Oct. 1.