Ranked #1 for Best Overall Business Climate (Anderson Economic Group) and identified as One of the Best Places in America to Be in 2004 (Partners for Livable Communities), Grand Rapids is Michigan's second largest city and West Michigan's economic, educational and cultural center.
Twenty-three percent of the region's workers are employed in the manufacturing sector and 12.8% are employed in health and private education. The area's largest employers include Spectrum Health, Meijer, Steelcase, Johnson Controls and Herman Miller. Grand Rapids' renowned Van Andel Institute is led by the head of U.S. cancer research, and is the millennium's economic catalyst for new medical research and related industries.
Grand Rapids is close to major U.S. markets throughout the Midwest. Located just a few hours from Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, and Toledo, it is within a day's drive of half the country's population, half its manufacturing base and nearly half its retail sales.