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Lippert Components Spurs Goshen Job Growth

Posted By RVBusiness On October 19, 2011 @ 8:00 am In Breaking News | No Comments

Lippert Components Manufacturing Inc. and Kinro Manufacturing Inc., subsidiaries of Drew Industries, said Tuesday (Oct. 18) that Goshen and Middlebury in northern Indiana have been chosen as the sites for an expansion of operations by both companies.

The South Bend Tribune reported that Lippert will create up to 100 jobs in Middlebury and up to another 80 in Goshen by 2012. Along with a previously announced expansion in Elkhart, the company will have invested more than $9.3 million in Elkhart County, according to the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.

In addition, Kinro products is adding another 30 jobs, Mark Brinson, community development director for Goshen, said, while retaining another 120. The company recently purchased Starquest Products.

But the good news hardly stops there.

On Tuesday night, the Goshen City Council took a step toward approving tax abatements for Benteler Automotive Inc. and GDC Corp., both of Goshen, which would help those companies expand.

Brinson said both abatements are expected to be finalized in two weeks.

When approved, Benteler Automotive will begin its first phase of expansion at a cost of $32.2 million, said Brinson, adding 98 jobs.

The company also has announced long-range plans to add another 80 jobs by 2016 and purchase $22.1 million in equipment while spending another $7 million on construction. Those 80 jobs aren’t even included in the nearly 400 new jobs announced this week.

Brinson also said GDC Corp. of Goshen, also known as Goshen Die Casting, has entered into a joint agreement with Monadnock Non-Woven of Pennsylvania.

It will take over an existing facility in Goshen, where it will spend $5.1 million for equipment and hire 73 people.

“It’s a perfect storm, and this time it’s a good storm,” Brinson said. “We’ve got a lot of good things happening.

“It’s amazing how much activity there is in the Goshen market, and it is fairly evenly split up between the automotive supplier business and the recreational vehicle supplier business.

“Those two are very active industry sectors at the moment.”

Brinson said the teamwork between the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County and the city of Goshen is paying off.

“They’re looking at where the best place is to do business, and it just so happens that we’re on the map as having a great cost of doing business and it’s working out great for Goshen,” Brinson said.

“It’s exactly what economic development is about,” said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County. “We are excited to see they are existing businesses growing and expanding.”

Lippert Components, a manufacturer of recreational vehicle and manufactured housing components, plans to invest about $650,000 in new machinery and equipment as part of the expansion, according to the state’s release.

Kinro, a manufacturer of windows and doors for the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing and other industries, plans to invest about $3.5 million for the lease of a facility, and the purchase of machinery and equipment for the expanded production line.

“We are extremely pleased to continue to expand the operations of both Lippert Components and Kinro in Indiana,” said Jason Lippert, chairman and chief executive officer of Lippert Components and Kinro, in the release.

The company plans to begin filling the new manufacturing and administrative positions this fall. Lippert Components and Kinro currently operate 31 facilities in 12 states.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Lippert Components Manufacturing Inc. up to $1.55 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $165,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.

According to the release, Elkhart County and the city of Goshen will consider additional property tax abatement for Lippert at the request of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.

Even before these announcements, Elkhart County ranked third in the largest growth of gross domestic product in 2010, Brinson said.

“We all know we’ve had some rough spots in Elkhart County,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of attention as kind of being the poster child for unemployment, but the news lately is anything but that.

“We’ve become kind of the example of growth in manufacturing over the growth that has occurred over the last year,” he said.

 

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