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                                    Forest River Inc. will break ground May 13 on its future Michigan site in White Pigeon, according to a statement from the St. Joseph County Economic Development Corp.

In January 2015, the manufacturer announced it will launch new products in White Pigeon in three newly constructed 100,000-square-foot facilities. With more than $1.6 billion in annual revenue, 120 plants and 9,000 employees worldwide, the Berkshire Hathaway company is headquartered in Elkhart, Ind.

Ultimately creating 396 new jobs over three years, the project will generate a total capital investment of more than $7 million. The project is supported by the State of Michigan with a $1.6 million community development block grant for on-the-job training, a $350,000 Business Development Program grant for infrastructure, a Michigan Department of Transportation road grant, a $936,000 12-year tax abatement from the Village of White Pigeon and $425,000 in workforce training funding from Michigan Works!

Local leaders in attendance at the groundbreaking will include Mike Stump, Forest River; Ken Jones, president of the St. Joseph County Economic Development Corp.; John Dobberteen, chairman of the St. Joseph County Commission; Dan Czajkowski, president of the Village of White Pigeon; Susan Novakoski, director of business attraction of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; and Ron Kitchens, president and CEO Southwest Michigan First.

“Positive changes in Michigan’s business climate, such as the recent right-to-work legislation prompted us to take a look at Michigan for this project. We’ve had a great reception and are looking forward to operating in White Pigeon,” said Stump.

Novakoski noted, “This project will boost Michigan’s economy by generating new opportunities for St. Joseph County families and supporting suppliers. It will help to bring new opportunities to the Village of White Pigeon with the creation of new jobs and new skill sets developed in the local workforce.”

“The project was like a ‘perfect storm’ when it came together. I credit the economic development incentives, the price of the land, governmental units working together and projects like the renovation of the wastewater treatment plant. All involved in the effort should take a moment to celebrate,” added Czajkowski.