With many synergies already in place between the two counties, Cass County has made the move to craft a new partnership with Benton Harbor-based Kinexus Group and its subsidiary of Market Van Buren, with the goal of raising the economic development profile for Cass.
Cass County officials made the announcement this morning, and tell us it will strengthen the efforts of both counties in the ever-changing economic development landscape.
Cass County Commissioner and Board Chair, Roseann Marchetti says, “Market Van Buren has always reached out to provide assistance, and the agreement with Kinexus Group for services makes our community even better.” She adds, “On numerous occasions over the last couple of years Zach Morris of Market Van Buren has helped our county and businesses, and we hope to build on that relationship.”
Kinexus Group President and CEO Todd Gustafson says, “Cass County is important to our region and there are obvious synergies in the work that Market Van Buren is doing, and services that can be provided to help Cass.” Gustafson adds, “We look forward to not only marketing and promoting Cass County through Market Van Buren, but to assist with policy issues like rural broadband and building a better ecosystem for growth in the region.”
Market Van Buren has had a number of high profile successes over the last year, helping Barber Packaging transition to providing face shields during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping 40 companies in Cass and Van Buren land state grants to stay in operation and landing another grant to develop a high tech park in the Mattawan area.
Executive Director of Market Van Buren, Zach Morris notes, “We have been successful in supporting the retention of over 416 jobs, helping create 168 new ones, and having an economic impact close to $44 million over the last four years,” and adds, “Rural communities need to create an ecosystem that will sustain growth, and with the changes happening in larger communities right now, Southwest Michigan is positioned to capitalize on that.”
County Administrator, Jeff Carmen says Market Van Buren and Kinexus Group have been providing value to the region and building on that momentum and partnering would be positive for the whole area, suggesting, “Our corner of Michigan has a great quality of life, we are like a bit of a hidden gem with lakes, great schools, and plenty of room to grow, but in keeping with the rural charm that makes Cass County a great place to work, live, and play.”
Les McClelland, Chair of the County Economic Development Commission says, “Our investment in this agreement comes at a time of great need and opportunity.”
Located in the Southwestern Corner of Michigan bordering Indiana, Cass County includes 508 Square Miles, 122 Lakes, more than 1,000 acres of dedicated Parks including an International Dark Skies location at TK Lawless Park as well as 26 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. It boasts great schools, Southwest Michigan College, four seasons of sports and recreation, three industrial parks, and a lifestyle that is warm and welcoming. A seven-member Board of Commissioners oversees governmental services. Visit the county website at the link below:
Market Van Buren, a subsidiary of Kinexus Group, is an economic development organization dedicated to the advancement of economic growth in Van Buren County. The organization was formed to bring the public and private sectors together to advance the economic interests of Van Buren county. For more information, you can visit online at this link: http://www.MarketVanBuren.org You can also follow them on Twitter @MarketVanBuren, or on Facebook @MarketVanBuren.
Kinexus Group is an organization that invests its time and resources into inspiring positive economic change one individual, one business, and one community at a time. For more information, visit www.Kinexus.org, follow along on Twitter @KinexusGroup or on Facebook @KinexusGroup.