A job-shop metal manufacturer that began 45 years ago in a little red barn has catapulted to become a full-service contract metal-solutions provider serving North America, while maintaining its longtime home in rural northwest Ottawa County.
And more growth is on the horizon for DeWys Metal Solutions
, now headquartered in the small unincorporated community of Marne with about 280 employees split between Marne and Grand Haven.
The firm recently received a $560,000 Jobs Ready Michigan performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to construct a new facility at its existing site off 8th Avenue in Wright Township.
The building is part of a $3.4 million capital investment that will generate 80 manufacturing, engineering and administrative jobs. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing site in Indiana.
An eye to the future
“As the company continues to grow and expand, we are being strategic and intentional with the solutions offered to keep meeting our customers’ increasing needs,” says Mark Schoenborn, president of DeWys Metal Solutions. “Rebranding in 2021 as DeWys Metal Solutions not only strengthened the brand identity, but it also aligned the division of companies to create a structure for expansion and additional acquisitions in the future.
“Staying committed to the success of all stakeholders is the DeWys way. This means caring about each other’s personal, professional, and financial goals. This grant will provide us the tools necessary to do just that.”
The company was founded in 1977 by Mark DeWys, a hands-on entrepreneur who first gained experience in the industry while working in a tool-and-die shop owned by his grandfather. When he died in 1999, his brother, Jon DeWys, stepped in to lead the company.
In the past six years, DeWys Manufacturing has expanded through two acquisitions. In 2017, the company acquired its first company, American Grower Resource
, a maker of greenhouse equipment. In 2020, DeWys announced the purchase of ReFab Metal Fab
, a Grand Haven based metal fabricator.
Work didn't slow during the pandemic for the company, which was deemed an essential manufacturer from the beginning. But it's approach to protecting employees from COVID-19
earned praise from Lakeshore Advantage.
The economic development organization for Ottawa and Allegan counties has assisted the company in navigating local resources during its expansion.
“DeWys is committed to the local community and to the manufacturing industry, and it shows,” says Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “They are highly engaged in many community initiatives, including Discover Manufacturing, which opens the door to meaningful career exploration for local students. This is a company that shows up, gives back and has a deep commitment to developing and growing their team.”
Wright Township will support the project with a 12-year tax abatement, contingent on Township Board approval.
“We welcome DeWys Metal Solution’s expansion and the opportunities it brings to our community,” says Wright Township Supervisor Rick Schoenborn. “DeWys has always been a great neighbor as well as an innovative resource for talented career development for many of our residents. This business approach aligns extremely well with Wright Township and its community.”
For more information about careers with DeWys visit https://www.dewys.com/careers/
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