Michigan Business Success Stories

Stokes' Blueberry FarmVan Buren County has been home to many successful business ventures over the years. These successes come from nearly all types of industries including agriculture, manufacturing, power generation and business services. In recent years Van Buren County has seen growth in many new industries including wine and beer making, tourism and technology. We expect to be adding stories representing these new endeavors in the years to come.

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The top 5 industries in Van Buren County are Manufacturing, Retail, Health Care and Social Services, Accommodation/Food Services, and Public Administration.
William U. Parfet, Chairman of MPI ResearchMPI Research of Mattawan is a world leader who partners with Sponsors around the globe to develop their drug and device programs. Every year, MPI’s experienced scientists and dedicated technical team conduct thousands of discovery, drug safety, bioanalytical, analytical, medical device, and clinical research studies. MPI’s Chairman William U. Parfet explains a few factors in why MPI is happily located in Van Buren County, Michigan.

As a lifelong Michigander, Van Buren County stood out to me for its geographic accessibility to   business markets. With easy access off I-94, the location offers a quick entrance to regional customers, as well as global clients who can easily find their way there from both local airports and regional hubs.”

Oftentimes, the MPI leadership team is asked if we find it challenging to staff our workforce. Our answer is a swift no. First, Van Buren County’s economic climate has allowed us to build state of the art facilities that rival any around the globe and our industry’s best want to be part     of what we have to offer. Second, the county’s emphasis on education with respect to creating excellence in both K-12 and Career and Technical Education has given us access to qualified hands-on technical workers as well as been a huge attractor to families locating in the area.

 “Third, with a variety of college choices within 30 miles as well as nationally renowned universities with programs tailored to fit our pipeline needs throughout our great state, MPI has  access to graduates with the right clinical and scientific skills that our customers demand.

Lastly, Van Buren County is a great place to live. The county’s natural attributes, including easy access to Lake Michigan, an abundance of lakes, rivers and streams and a quick two-hour trip to either Detroit or Chicago, offer families and individuals a great quality of life. If you can’t tell, the MPI Research team is excited about doing business in Van Buren County!

  William U. Parfet, Chairman of MPI Research
Riveer of South Haven is the leader in environmental solutions for the equipment washing market. An ISO 9001 certified manufacturer that has been serving clients worldwide since 1983. Riveer’s founder, Matt Petter recently shared a few comments on doing business in Van Buren County.

It has taken time but we have assembled our best team to date at Riveer. South Haven is one of the nicest places to live and that has helped us in attracting talent.

“Air travel is very important to our business, and here we have three regional airports within an hour of our location and two major airports within a couple of hours. This is a critical advantage due to the amount of travel that we do.”
  Matt Petter
The top 5 occupations in Van Buren County are Office and Administrative support employees (14.48%), Sales (11.48%), Production Workers (11.08%), Executives, Managers, and Administrators (9.2%), and Food Preparation/Serving occupations (6.1%).
Van Buren County is a hardworking county, with over half of the population in the workforce.
LTW of Lawrence is a leading source for ergonomic, adjustable height workstations, workbenches and machine bases. LTW’s owner, John Lanphear, weighs in on working with the Van Buren County Intermediate School District’s Technology Center.

They’re not just teaching students how to do little projects, they’re actually giving students the opportunities to work on real world, right now projects that customers and companies like mine need.
  John Lanphear
Michigan is the #1 state for blueberry production in the USA, with the majority coming from Southwest Michigan in Van Buren County.
True Blue Farms of Grand Junction depicts the region’s agricultural success. Owner Shelly Hartman explains the contributing factors to their growth.

Dennis and I have been lifelong residents, blueberry producers, and are current business owners of True Blue Farms in Van Buren County. We are blessed to have the benefits of the “Lake Effect” to help us grow the biggest best tasting blueberries second to none.

However, location is only one of the essential pieces to our success; it’s also about the people of Van Buren County. The hard working and forwarding thinking County officials,   representatives, and residents have helped our business to grow over the years and be recognized as an industry leader. With their can-do, Ag positive attitude, and strategic planning Van Buren County is not only the best location to grow blueberries…Van Buren County is agriculturally business friendly!
  Shelly Hartman
Van Buren is nicknamed “Michigan’s Fruit Basket” due to its superior fruit production within the state of Michigan
There are 67 Associate degree/Certificate colleges and 76 Universities within 50 miles of Van Buren County.
Job growth has increased 2.02% since 2013.
Work distribution in Van Buren is 57% blue collar and 42% white collar.
There are 3,006 total establishments in Van Buren County.
Van Buren County also specializes in onion and strawberry production which is distributed throughout the state and the rest of the country.

Sources for Van Buren Facts

Van Buren County Services & Infomation Center
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
M Live Media Group
Michigan Department of Agriculture
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