Vantage Plastics Expansion Creating Job Opportunities in Bay City

Michigan Community Capital invests New Markets Tax Credits into thermoforming company expansion. 

December 6, 2023 

LANSING, Mich. – Vantage Plastics, a family-owned and operated custom thermoforming company, received $6.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation from Michigan Community Capital (MCC) yesterday. This allocation will be utilized for the purchase and installation of equipment in the newly purchased and renovated building in Bay City, Michigan. The 325,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehouse facility will house equipment for injection molding, extrusion, and thermoforming machines needed to expand production capacity and meet demand. 

Specifically, this nearly $27-million project will include 215,000 square feet of space for Vantage’s plastic thermoforming and injection molding operations; 100,000 square feet of space to produce custom thermoplastic polyolefin sheet stock by Vantage subsidiary Airpark Plastics; and 10,000-square feet of office space for staff.  

Located in an economically distressed census tract with an unemployment rate of 7.6% (1.4 times the national average). The project site is also within a brownfield redevelopment area. 

Since starting in 1996 with the purchase of a small thermoforming facility in Standish, Vantage Plastics has grown into a family of six companies that employs over 250 Michigan residents. This expansion project is expected to support 113 full-time equivalent positions, 108 of which are newly created. Positions include production managers, engineers, electrical and machine repairmen, machine and forklift operators, and general laborers – all positions accessible with less than a four-year degree. These positions will also earn an above average living wage and will receive comprehensive benefits, including health insurance, performance-based variable pay, and paid time off. Vantage Plastics will continue to partner with Bay Future, Michigan Works!, Bay Arenac ISD Career Center, and Arenac Opportunities to recruit and hire local residents, especially those with significant barriers to employment. 

“Vantage Plastics and its affiliate family of companies have always improved the communities in which we reside,” said Don Hale, Mergers, Acquisitions, and Emerging Technologies at Vantage Plastics. “This project allows us to continue that focus through new employment and refurbishment of a facility that badly needed it. We appreciate the help and support from all the people and companies that are and have been helping to bring this together.” 

MCC is supporting this project with a $6.5-million New Markets Tax Credit allocation. 

“Creating jobs that offer living wages and benefits enables individuals not only to survive but also to thrive,” said President and CEO of Michigan Community Capital, Eric Hanna. “We are pleased to partner with Michigan companies that prioritize local investment, local employment, and the bolstering of the Michigan economy.” 

The senior lender in this project is West Michigan Community Bank in partnership with Northstar Bank. 

“We are very excited for Vantage Plastics and the Bay City community,” said Michael Skinner, SVP, Grand Rapids Market Manager, Commercial Banking at West Michigan Community Bank. “The new investment will help revitalize this facility, provide them room for further growth and create new jobs here in Michigan. MCC did a great job bringing a team together quickly to help Vantage Plastics navigate the NMTC process. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Vantage Plastics and MCC on this project.” 

Dudley Ventures is serving as the NMTC investor on the project. 

“We are thrilled to have participated as the NMTC investor in Vantage Plastics’ transformative project. The $6.5 million allocation from Michigan Community Capital has been instrumental in facilitating the purchase and installation of cutting-edge equipment in their newly acquired facility. We are grateful for the incredible teamwork that made this transaction possible, and we look forward to witnessing Vantage Plastics expand its production capacity and meet the growing demand. This project is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in driving economic growth,” said Kyle Koupal, Vice President of Investments at Dudley Ventures/Valley Bank. 

About Michigan Community Capital 

Michigan Community Capital (MCC) is a non-profit diversified public-private partnership that supports the missions of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) by aggregating capital and facilitating the financing and development of low-income and attainable housing, and the redevelopment of complex brownfield sites within the State of Michigan. MCC is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the only Community Development Entity (CDE) that deploys this resource solely throughout the entire State of Michigan. Since 2005, MCC has supported over $1.3 billion in project financing, successfully attracted $445 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits, and helped to create over 1,500 housing units, 4.3 million square feet of commercial, retail and industrial space to facilitate job creation and expansion, and has insured over 22,000 affordable multifamily doors. MCC drives community development impacts in four key areas: Real Estate Development, CDFI lending, New Markets Tax Credits, and affordable Property Insurance.