CREST MARINE PRESIDENT PAT MAY discussed the economic positivity associated with the planned expansion of the Owosso Charter Township manufacturer on Monday, Nov. 22.

   May is committed to continuing to invest in Owosso Charter Township and also to invest in the community.

   Crest Marine is set for a 5,400-square-foot expansion, which will create 100 new jobs, despite pandemic limitations.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)


   Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined a group of state, business and township officials on Monday afternoon, Nov. 22 in recognition of Crest Marine’s expansion at its Owosso Charter Township facility. Whitmer was on hand to thank the pontoon manufacturer for investing in Michigan, creating new jobs for Michiganders and highlighting Michigan’s manufacturing industry.

   Crest President Pat May took a moment to thank Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership President/CEO Justin Horvath for being “an excellent conduit at SEDP for connecting private companies up with support.”

   “A lot of times people will ask me, well, why are you investing in Owosso?” May shared. “Well, certainly we invest in the plant and equipment to make these great pontoon boats, but we also invest in processes. We think we’re very good at that … We invest, certainly and most importantly, in people. We believe in the human capital element here at Crest. We’ve got a very competitive wage structure that we offer and we have a lot of skilled trades here on the grounds. We have a safety element to it all to make sure everyone goes home better than they showed up – and we have a culture of mutual respect. So, we really are striving to be the Shiawassee employer of choice.”

   “Crest Marine is a Michigan business that’s been critical to the economic fabric of Shiawassee County and Owosso Charter Township for nearly 65 years,” Gov. Whitmer stated after a tour of the facility. “It’s a shining example of what it means to invest and grow alongside of a community. After decades of operation, they’ve been employing over 300 Michiganders and become the largest manufacturer in the county. They continue their bottom line success with a commitment of giving back to this community.”

   She added, “Today, they are building on community commitment by building right here in Owosso with the construction of an additional 5,400-square-foot facility. This new facility will help Crest Marine expand production from 2,500 to 3,000 boats in 2022 alone, while investing up to $1.7 million in the community.”

   Whitmer thanked the pontoon maker for believing in community, creating good paying jobs and “continuing to lead in the recreation space.”

   “Who doesn’t look at these products and think about fun Michigan summers, springs and long falls?” she asked, focusing on Michigan’s travel and tourism industries. Boating has a $7.8 billion annual economic impact on Michigan’s economy, supporting more than 40,000 jobs.* “This is a business that has been built on a pastime that is unique and important to the state of Michigan.”

   According to a press statement from the governor’s office, the project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $1 million and create up to 100 new jobs with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. The project has been awarded a $425,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant through the fund and Owosso Charter Township has offered 50-percent property tax abatement in support.

   “Together, we will continue investing in our people, in our businesses and good paying jobs,” Whitmer said.

   Crest Marine currently has 309 employees at its Owosso Charter Township location. The company was acquired by parent-company MasterCraft Boat Holding in 2018 and has continued to see positive economic growth trajectory since that time.

   Several news organizations attempted to redirect the economic conversation toward COVID on Monday afternoon. Whitmer answered every question, explaining she expects the health department to release “additional guidance” related to the COVID surge in the near future. The number of hospitalized adults reached 3,699 on Monday with Michigan now leading the country in new cases.

   As of Wednesday, Nov. 17, Shiawassee County reported 441 new COVID cases – the largest weekly jump yet in cases recorded for the county.

   “If you’re congregating with a bunch of people indoors, it’s wise to make sure everyone is vaccinated,” she offered. “And if they’re not, encourage them to do that.”

   Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund, offered his congratulations to the Crest Marine team in a press release.

   “We’re proud to join our partners at the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership and other local partners as we support the investment by this longstanding Michigan company and look forward to working with them as they continue to grow and add jobs for more of our friends and neighbors,” Messer shared.

*Source: Michigan Boating Industries Association

Gov. Whitmer Announces 100 New Jobs and $1 Million Capital Investment from Crest Marine Expansion was last modified: November 30th, 2021 by Karen Elford