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Illinois Based Automotive Supplier Plans Growth, New Jobs
Updated October 13, 2016 7:06 AM | Filed under: Business
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(ANGOLA) - Ventra Angola, a parts manufacturer for the automotive industry, announced plans Thursday to expand its operations in northeast Indiana, creating up to 88 new jobs by 2019.

"Indiana businesses have added more than 156,000 new jobs since 2013, providing increased quality employment opportunities for Hoosiers across the state," said Governor Mike Pence. "Indiana offers a low-cost, low-tax business climate that supports growth, allowing job creators to invest in their business and their employees. The state's manufacturing industry supports one in five Hoosier jobs, and we look forward to continued growth thanks to the commitment and determination of businesses like Ventra Angola."

The company, which is part of Urbana, Illinois-based Flex-N-Gate, will invest $8.1 million to increase manufacturing capacity at its 128,000-square-foot facility at 3000 Woodhill Drive in Angola. Ventra Angola will purchase new equipment, including roll mills, and reconfigure its operations in order to accommodate the growth. The company, which has been operating in Indiana since 1993, plans to increase its production of parts by 70 percent to support a new contract with General Motors.

Flex-N-Gate Corporation is the 10th-largest original equipment supplier in North America and the 38th-largest supplier in the world, according to Automotive News. The company employs more than 18,750 people at 55 manufacturing facilities and nine product development and engineering facilities throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Spain. In addition to its Angola facility, Flex-N-Gate also operates Indiana facilities in Covington and Veedersburg.

"Today's news wouldn't be possible if not for the commitment and talent of our workforce in Angola, a workforce that has been directly responsible for years of success and now an extremely promising future for our Ventra operation," said Bill Beistline, vice president of procurement at Flex-N-Gate. "We are also grateful to Mayor Hickman and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, because it takes a special kind of partnership to create jobs and make expansion plans of this magnitude a reality. Our company is proud to operate three plants in Indiana, all of them thriving, and there is no question the best days for our Ventra operation in Angola are just ahead."

Ventra Angola plans to start installing new equipment in the first quarter of 2017 and ramping up production in October 2017. The company, which currently employs 25 full-time Hoosiers at its Steuben County plant, will begin hiring for various positions this month. New positions are expected to offer average salaries 40 percent higher than the Steuben County average wage. Interested applicants may apply online.

Flex-N-Gate's major product lines include complete bumper assemblies, mechanical assemblies, exterior plastic trim, aluminum and steel modular stamped body-in-white and chassis assemblies, and complex welded structural assemblies for the light vehicle market.

"The city of Angola is excited that Ventra Angola is expanding in our city. This is exactly the type of jobs and investment we have been working toward through economic development planning," said Mayor Richard Hickman. "Ventra Angola's $8.1 million dollar investment shows great faith in our community and the skills of our local workforce. These are quality jobs with the kinds of wages and benefits that will help draw more people to our community. We appreciate the hard work that the IEDC has put in to bring this expansion to Angola, and we are grateful that Ventra Angola is choosing to invest in our city."

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Ventra Angola up to $650,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $25,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Angola will consider additional incentives.

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