Newell Rubbermaid Invests $2.3M in Design Center at WMU

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Newell Rubbermaid Inc. — the Atlanta-based marketer behind brands including Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Calphalon, and Goody — is investing $2.3 million and creating up to 100 design jobs in Western Michigan University’s Business Technology and Research Park in Kalamazoo.

The company’s new 40,000-square-foot facility will serve as a hub to consolidate all of its product and graphic design capabilities, says Chuck Jones, Newell Rubbermaid’s chief design and R&D officer.

“We have conversations with millions of consumers through our products every day, and through great design and innovation we will elevate these conversations to a new level,” Jones says.

Newell Rubbermaid officials say Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Chicago. The company received a $2 million Michigan Business Development performance-based grant, while Kalamazoo offered tax abatements valued at $164,000.

“Having a world-class company such as Newell Rubbermaid choose to locate in Michigan is a great win for us and a testament to our talented work force,” says Gov. Rick Snyder. “We’ve known for years that Michigan is a R&D hotbed. Our focus is to continue developing that talent, (and) finding ways for our business leaders to collaborate and connect with our universities and school districts so students can graduate with in-demand skills.”

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