New Snowplow Factory Could Bring 91 Jobs to Battle Creek
A company that builds snowplow and ice control equipment wants to build a brand new factory in Battle Creek. Viking-Cives (pronounced suh-VACE) is looking to invest about $25 million to build the factory at 1405 Shiga Drive, next to Bowers Aluminum. But the next step is getting Battle Creek City Commission approval on a 12-year tax abatement.
Commissioners will be asked to set a Public Hearing for September 7th at their next meeting on Tuesday. If approved, the abatement would save the company about $40,000 per year over the 12 years, and the company would have the factory up and running by the end of 2022.
In a letter to the commission, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) President and CEO Joe Sobieralski said they’ve been working on the deal for more than a year and the company chose Battle Creek over competing sites in Indiana and Ontario, as well as a site in Kalamazoo.
Viking-Cives goes back to 1952 and is an employee-owned company based in Alpharetta, Georgia. The proposed facility in Battle Creek would be their first in Michigan.
Viking-Cives would purchase the two vacant parcels on Shiga Drive in the industrial park, totaling 40 acres.
The Battle Creek operation would consist of fabrication, cutting, installation, and warehousing, as well as 10,000 square feet for office and administration.
Sobieralski stated that the company expects to hire 91 employees in the first five years, with a potential to grow to 200, paying workers well over $20 per hour with full benefits. He said the company expects to utilize the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) at Kellogg Community College to help train new hires, when applicable, and will work with Southwest Michigan Works on local workforce recruitment and development.
The company has a video that shows the type of equipment they build for the state of Tennessee department of transportation.