LANSING — Davide Canavesio was looking into Detroit and Chicago as potential locations for a new North American office for his Italian manufacturing firm.
That is, until Virg Bernero came along. The Lansing mayor met Canavesio at a business conference in Turin, Italy.
“He said, ‘You should consider Lansing,'” Canavesio said. “Honestly, we never considered it before.”
Canavesio is CEO of Turin -based Saet Group, a manufacturer of induction heat treating equipment. He arrived in Lansing this afternoon to join Bernero at the State of the City address this evening, where the mayor will announce that Saet and another Italian company plan to open offices in the area, creating about 40 jobs in the next three years.
Following Bernero’s trip to Italy, Canavesio visited Lansing about one year ago to meet with the mayor and Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s Ray De Winkle.
“They were relentless in convincing us that it would make good sense to invest in the area,” he said, noting that he had an opportunity to meet with a Michigan State University professor who was doing research in his company’s area of expertise.
“We have the local support, which doesn’t mean tax incentives or benefits,” he said.
LEAP, which has not yet offered any tax breaks or other financial incentives, connected Saet Group with resources including Capital Area Michigan Works to find and hire employees for the new office.
While he plans start with a small sales office, Canavesio hopes to eventually open a manufacturing facility. He plans to meet with local suppliers this afternoon to discuss future needs.
“We absolutely need to have a stronger presence here,” he said.