Perrigo is creating jobs — but it can’t seem to fill them fast enough

GRAND RAPIDS — One of West Michigan’s largest employers has submitted a grant reauthorization request through the Michigan Business Development Program, reducing its base employment and requesting an extension on hiring milestones.

More:Perrigo to build headquarters in Grand Rapids

Perrigo Co. received approval on that request Tuesday, Sept. 27, after citing high turnover and difficulty matching its needs with the talent pipeline.

The company initially received a $2 million grant approval in October 2020 with a base employment of 4,170 — now reduced to 4,124 after the business’ divestment from its pharmaceutical branch. The grant was intended to aid Perrigo in an expansion that would establish its corporate North American headquarters in Grand Rapids, removing the title from facilities in Allegan.

The company entered a 15-year lease at 430 Monroe Ave. NW — slated for renovation and upgrades to offer 60,000 square feet of office space and 170 parking spaces.

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In addition to reducing its base employment, Perrigo is requesting a one-year extension on all three hiring milestones within the original grant approval. Grants through the MBDP are often tied to job creation over a certain period of time.

Perrigo had 318 open positions at the time of its refiling, and “is working with neighboring agencies to assist with the hiring process.” The company feels that, with more time, and, as the job market begins to return to normal, it will be able to fulfill its commitment of creating 400 well-paying jobs.

More:LG Energy Solution inches closer to bond support for Holland expansion

Perrigo isn’t the only manufacturer facing significant labor shortages in West Michigan, in spite of near-constant announcements of expansions and job creation — including a ‘transformational’ expansion at LG Energy Solution in Holland that would bring 1,000 additional jobs to the lakeshore by 2025.

According to a spokesperson, Gentex could “immediately accommodate” more than 200 additional hourly production team members. MillerKnoll has over 100 open roles in West Michigan, and Haworth has 260 open positions in Holland, both salaried and hourly.

— Contact reporter Cassandra Lybrink at Follow her on Twitter @CassLybrink.

Read More: Perrigo is creating jobs — but it can’t seem to fill them fast enough

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