The Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) has played a role in the expansion of the RV industry in Elkhart County.
As reported by The Elkhart Truth, in Elkhart County since 2011, the economic development organization has been a part of nine expansions, including Lippert Components and Kinro Manufacturing Inc., Supreme Industries Inc. and Spartan Motors Inc. totaling $31.7 million in new investment and 1,608 new jobs by 2015.
The companies that have grown in Elkhart County 2011 received $9.4 million in performance-based tax credits and $732,500 in training grants from the IEDC.
Daniel J. Hasler, CEO of the state economic development agency, is optimistic that 250 companies will choose Indiana in 2012 to either expand or relocate their operations. He pointed to the high rankings from CEO magazine and the Tax Foundation along with the infrastructure investments funded by Major Moves and the recently passed Right to Work legislation as indicators of Indiana’s ability to appeal to businesses.
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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.
The city of Pendleton, Ore., and state officials landed a subsidiary of Drew Industries Inc. which also was looking to locate the plant in Indiana.
The Pendleton East Oregonian reported that Kinro Manufacturing Inc. opted to locate a recreational vehicle window and door manufacturing plant in Pendleton in a facility former occupied by Drew’s Lippert Components Inc..
Tracy Bosen, Pendleton economic development director, said Monday (Aug. 3) the company would hire up to 80 employees.
Lippert pulled stakes out of Pendleton and moved its 35 jobs to McMinnville, Ore., some time ago, Bosen said.
Bosen said Drew had the opportunity, with Lippert vacating the building, to bring the Kinro plant to Pendleton.
Bosen said Kinro plans to begin operations Sept. 30.
“The Pendleton Economic Development Board and the city of Pendleton have been working closely with the state of Oregon and Drew Industries since the fall of 2008 to bring these jobs into Pendleton,” Bosen said.
Most jobs will be line-manufacturing positions, and there will be a limited number of administrative and managerial positions.
“They’re going to be starting at about $13 per hour,” he said, “and the administrative jobs will be more.”
Bosen said Kinro offers a competitive 401(k) plan, major medical, prescription, vision and dental health plans and holiday and vacation pay.
This is Kinro’s first venture in Oregon, he said. Kinro’s corporate offices are in Arlington, Texas. It has an engineering office in Mansfield, Texas. The company has nine plants that build doors and windows for manufactured housing and recreational vehicles.
“We worked really hard to bring these jobs in,” Bosen said. “They were going to go to Indiana.”