Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 7, 2012

Jobs coming to New Paris, Middlebury

A STAFF REPORT
THE GOSHEN NEWS

— Elkhart County is set to be home to two business expansions that will create up to 135 manufacturing jobs in New Paris and Middlebury.

The announcements were made Friday.

Officials with Smart LLC, doing business as Smart Cabinetry, a “green” kitchen cabinet manufacturer, announced plans to expand operations locally, creating up to 75 new jobs by 2016.

The company plans to invest $11.4 million to renovate and equip its current 169,000-square-foot facility in New Paris. As part of the project, Smart will add new kitchen cabinet manufacturing, finishing and assembly lines by 2015.

Officials with Indiana Galvanizing, a steel parts galvanizing manufacturer, announced they will invest $3 million to purchase, renovate and equip a Middlebury facility, adding up to 60 new jobs.

“Again today, two great companies have chosen Indiana, and specifically Elkhart County, over all other options,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels. “Our pro-growth business climate and skilled workforce continue to give us a competitive advantage, and we have no plans of slowing down.”

Established in 2004, Smart manufactures entry-level kitchen cabinets used in multi-unit buildings, including apartment, condominium, hospitality, assisted living and senior living complexes. Distributed to more than 400 retailers, distributors and wholesalers nationwide, Smart’s cabinets are designed to be environmentally friendly, according to company officials.

“With markets getting stronger and our nations outlook brighter, Smart believes its growth in market share will continue but is only facilitated and achievable by an excellent available labor force and Indiana’s business-friendly environment, which when combined gives us the confidence to make the commitment to move,” said Kirk Barron, president and chief operating officer of Smart. “We look forward to working with both state and local governments to create jobs and continue the momentum we started three years ago.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Smart LLC up to $600,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. Elkhart County will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County.

Smart, which currently has more than 100 Indiana employees, will continue to hire new manufacturing, engineering, administrative and information technology associates on an ongoing basis, company officials said.

“Every company that expands and invests here strengthens Elkhart County,” said David Foutz, a member of the Elkhart County Council. “Smart’s announcement of expansion and creation of new jobs is a welcome one in our community and we look forward to more news like this in our county and in our state in the future.”