By Chris Meyers
Three local businesses in very different lines of work received abatements for new equipment and also plan job growth in coming years.
On the heels of a multi-million dollar expansion at Micropulse Inc. will come the creation of 33 jobs during the next three years, according to company president Brian Emerick.
The business added 45,000 square feet to its facility in 2007 and was granted an abatement for the project, with the anticipation of new equipment at the business.
“We overbuilt to fill it with equipment later,” Emerick said.
The company completed $6 million in capital investments that same year.
The county council approved a new 10-year abatement for Micropulse for the new manufacturing and information-technology equipment that will fill the space.
Along with the equipment, the company also plans 33 new jobs throughout the next three years.
Coupled Products moves equipment to Whitley County
One business, Coupled Products LLC, is in the automotive business and recently moved equipment for part of the business’ operations to Whitley County from an Ohio facility.
The business employs 92 people and plans to add numerous jobs in the coming years, some of which will be offered to union employees who were laid off and have recall rights for up to two years.
“Naturally, we try to bring those people back to the facility,” Randy Barth of Coupled Products LLC told the Whitley County Redevelopment Commission.
The company plans to move equipment from its former Sandusky, Ohio plant to Whitley County’s facility by February of next year, at which point the goal is to hire 30 more people.
“A lot of the things we moved in were heavy machines,” Barth said.
The business specializes in equipment needed for the heavy trucking industry, including brazing, brake line work and other parts.
“We’re aggressively quoting business for the machines we’ve moved,” Barth said.
Brazing furnaces, plating operations and assembly work are done at the Whitley County facility.
Although some of the Ohio plant’s operations moved to Mexico, Barth said there are no plans to move anything from Whitley County’s building out of the country.
“It’s just not practical to move that operation,” Barth said of the cost to move the equipment and some of the skilled labor hourly wages in Mexico.
Upon a recommendation from the redevelopment commission, the Whitley County Council voted unanimously to amend Coupled Products’ original 2009 abatement since the company did not know at that time how much equipment would move to the Whitley County plant.
Greatbatch Medical plans 11 new jobs
A local business which specializes in medical implants, surgical equipment and other needs in the medical field not only added 11 new jobs in the last year, but also plans to add another 11 in coming years.
The county council approved a 10-year abatement for Greatbatch Medical, which will go toward a new project with new equipment.
Matt Tanger, plant manager at Greatbatch Medical, said the new $1.4 million in equipment is installed and will help the company stay more competitive in the market.
The new employees planned at the business are not necessary tied to the new equipment, but the expansion could have an affect on employment.
“It’s quite a large business as a whole,” Tanger said.
Alan Tió, president of the Whitley County Economic Development Commission, said the company has a strong track record of growth.
Greatbatch recently acquired Precimed, which also always exceeded its abatement expectations, according to Tió.
Source: Columbia City Post & Mail