'GRid70' design hub to incubate innovation in Midwest

Amway, Meijer, Steelcase and Wolverine are joining forces to open the $5 million "GRid70" design hub to foster innovation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Four major corporations are joining forces to open an innovation center to make Grand Rapids, Mich. more competitive for young talent.

Direct selling giant Amway, big-box retailer Meijer, office furniture firm Steelcase and footwear maker Wolverine have partnered to open Michigan's first design hub, a $5 million project called "GRid70."

(That's "GRid70" as in "Grand Rapids Innovation and Design," plus an allusion to its downtown address, 70 Ionia Ave.)

Jaclyn Trop has the scoop in the Detroit News:

The goal is to make the building and the city an inviting place for Millennials, the next generation of workers who already wield power as consumers. They are teenagers and young adults up to age 30.

"How do we make Grand Rapids a cooler city to attract younger workers?" said Jim Zwiers, president of the Outdoor Group at Wolverine, a footwear and apparel manufacturer. "It's a competition with cities in the Midwest to get talent."

A fifth company, Pennant Health, will move in next month.

The new creative collaboration center won't necessarily compete with nearby Detroit for talent; rather, executives imagine it will act more like a feeder system for Detroit-based companies, lifting the entire region.

The center fits into the city's recent moves to renovate buildings, its sizable student population and "respectable amount of capital," according to one source quoted in the article.

$5M GRid70 project aims for young workers [Detroit News]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com