HOLLAND—More jobs will be headed to West Michigan, thanks to a planned expansion at Gentex.
The Zeeland-based company will be using an existing facility that belonged to an electronics company on James Street, three miles from their headquarters.
The company will invest $4.5 million to buy and renovate the space to use the facility to build chip boards for the company's automatically dimming rear view mirrors. They hope to have the plant up and running by January and running at full capacity by March.
Once the facility is done, it will mean 240 new hires in all: 100 highly skilled engineering and software jobs and another 140 manufacturing jobs. Gentex officials say they've seen a quicker rebound than expected in the economy. Right now they supply 83 percent of all auto-dimming mirrors around the world.
"Three-quarters of our auto dimming mirror shipments go overseas," said Vice President Enoch Jen.
This is quite a turnaround for the chosen building. A year ago, the company that formerly occupied the space moved to Mexico, noted Bruce Los, Vice President of Human Resources. "And this year we have a team of people working extremely hard, many of them through the weekend, planning to start up here in January," he said.
For those wondering how to be a part of this extended workforce, there will be a job fair at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Holland on December 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.