(SEYMOUR) - Seymour Tubing Inc. will receive $90,000 in state economic incentive grants for training its current and future workforce as part of the Japanese company's plans to expand locally.
January Wetzel of the Tribune reports that the announcement came at Monday's Seymour City Council meeting, where Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., requested tax abatements on behalf of the company's planned $20.2 million investment at Eastside Industrial Park.
"This is very good news with another company making investment here," Plump said.
The council approved the three abatements, with council member Jim Rebber abstaining from the vote because he is employed by Seymour Tubing.
"We want to thank you for your confidence in Seymour, for what you have been doing and for your future plans," council member Lloyd Hudson said to Seymour Tubing officials at Monday's meeting.
The announcement adds to the continued success of industrial growth in the area, Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman said.
"This has been an outstanding year for economic development in Seymour and Jackson County, and the decision by Seymour Tubing to expand here continues that momentum," he said.
The state grants are offered through the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and are performance-based, meaning until Hoosier workers are hired, the company cannot claim the incentives.
"Indiana continues to see impressive investment from international companies in our automotive manufacturing industries," said Dan Hasler, secretary of commerce and chief executive officer for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. "Seymour Tubing's growth in Seymour is yet another sign that Indiana's business-friendly climate is creating a competitive environment for businesses around the globe to grow," he said.
The expansion project includes $6.5 million in construction of new facilities and $13.6 million in new equipment, Plump said.
In this case, the tax abatements will allow Seymour Tubing to pay taxes on the investment in increments increasing over 10 years, with the first year being 100 percent exempt.
By 2022, the company will pay taxes in full.
Plump said the investment will result in 18 new jobs by 2014 at the plant, which manufactures a variety of carbon and stainless steel tubing components for the automotive industry.
The company now employs 462 workers, 399 full time and 63 temporary.
Lennie Eckhart, company cost accountant, on Monday said Seymour Tubing is experiencing significant growth and demand from customers after suffering through the economic recession.
"The automotive industry is starting to see recovery from the 2009 downturn," Eckhart said. " We were able to get through the slope and are now seeing the benefits."
By 2014, Seymour Tubing will be at production capacity and therefore needs to expand to continue serving existing customers as well as reach out to new markets, Eckhart said.
"We need to add on to be ready for the next step," he said.
The expansion will add 51,000 square feet to the plant for production and warehousing purposes as well as an enlarged waste¬water treatment facility.
The investment will add state-of-the-art ultrasonic testing equipment for checking weld seams, a fourth tube mill and a high-tech cutting machine.
"This will give us additional capacity for growth and the ability to produce new products and make us competitive in the market," Eckhart said.
Construction is slated to begin next month, with equipment installation to begin in November.
The new facility is expect¬ed to be operational by July. Eckhart said the state grants will benefit company employees now and in the future.
"It will allow us to train these new employees as well as improve our current workforce skill set in the areas of quality, manufacturing and management," he said. " We feel that with this training we can better serve our customers, our employees, our shareholders and our community."
Hiring is expected to begin later this year.
Seymour Tubing was founded in 1989 and is owned by Sumitomo Pipe & Tube Co. and Mitsui & Co. (USA) Inc.
The company's expansion comes on the heels of two recent announcements by Japanese-based automotive companies to bring jobs to Indiana.
Last week, Indiana MARUJUN announced its decision to invest $ 21.78 million to increase production capacity at its Winchester facility, adding up to 50 jobs.
Also, Greenville Technology Inc., a Japanese-based Honda plastics components suppli-er, broke ground on its first Indiana facility in Anderson last month, which will create up to 325 jobs over the next few years.
"We were able to get through the slope and are now seeing the benefits," said Lennie Eckhart, cost accountant on Seymour Tubing's expansion plans.
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