Gentex opening facility in Madison Square

Zeeland, Michigan-based Gentex Corporation announced on February 1, 2023, that it plans to open a satellite production facility that will bring 50 new jobs to the Madison Square neighborhood of Grand Rapids.

Gentex is a technology company and long-time supplier of electro-optical products for the global automotive, aerospace,¬†and fire protection industries. The company is Ottawa County’s largest employer, with over 5,500 team members working at its manufacturing campus in Zeeland and nearby lakeshore facilities.

The decision to locate in Madison Square came after months of working in partnership with Amplify GR. “One of our goals is to help ensure neighbors and communities benefit from economic expansion, specifically through job opportunities and wealth creation,” said Amplify GR Executive Director Jon Ippel. “We are passionate about this work — our staff works collaboratively with companies like Gentex to create innovative ways to maximize their investments in the Madison Square and Boston Square areas and throughout the community.”

“Rising transportation costs make commuting increasingly difficult, so if Gentex wants to recruit employees from Grand Rapids, we need to be here,” said Gentex President and CEO Steve Downing. “And by locating a satellite plant and creating jobs in a neighborhood near city center, our goal is to strengthen not only Gentex, but also the surrounding community, and we look forward to future opportunities to do so.”

Gentex’s Grand Rapids facility will be located at 355 Cottage Grove, SE. The building is currently undergoing renovations, with production slated to begin in late May. The facility will produce sub-assembly components for Gentex’s HomeLink product, which consists of vehicle-integrated buttons for operating garage doors and other home automation devices. When fully operational, the facility will operate two shifts and employ 50 team members engaged in light assembly, warehousing, and logistics.

In early spring, Gentex plans to conduct a series of job fairs and community events designed to introduce the company to the surrounding neighborhood. Those interested in employment at the Cottage Grove facility can learn more at www.gentex.com/GR

Over the past couple of years, Gentex has been systematically addressing some of the region’s largest barriers to employment. In 2021, the company launched Spanish-speaking assembly lines to provide expanded employment opportunities for West Michigan’s growing Hispanic community. Today, nearly 190 Spanish-speaking employees work on various production lines throughout the company.

In November, Gentex announced plans to open a first-of-its-kind childcare and preschool designed to provide its employees with access to quality, affordable, on-site daycare. The facility, scheduled to break ground this spring, will be located on Gentex’s Zeeland campus. It’s being designed to accommodate the children of both first and second-shift workers, with a capacity target of up to 250 children per shift.