By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
LIGONIER — Structural Composites of Indiana Inc., a Ligonier-based producer for numerous markets — including RV, military, and rail — recently announced expansion plans that could bring several new jobs to the area.
According to Scott Rasler, operations manager for SCI, the company was recently granted a tax abatement by the Ligonier City Council in connection with a planned expansion involving the purchase of a vacant building near SCI’s 1118 Gerber St. location.
“What we did is we bought a building right beside us, and we’re using that to expand and give ourselves some more production space,” Rasler said. “We recently added 20 new positions over the past two months and there are plans to add some additional jobs in the future.”
Rasler said the need for the abatement centered primarily on the work that will need to be done to the recently purchased building to bring it up to speed with the rest of the company’s production facilities.
“The abatement was for the upgrade of the electrical and all the machinery that we need to use,” Rasler said. “We’re moving our R & D (Research and Development) and molding departments over there, so our production facility will grow and have more space.”
While the council granted SCI an abatement of up to $400,000, Rasler said he anticipates the company will be able to do all the necessary upgrades for much less.
“As far as the amount of the abatement, it goes by what we end up spending on the upgrades to the building, so it isn’t exactly a set amount,” Rasler said. “We’ve been approved for up to $400,000, but we’ll probably do it for a little over $150,000.”
As for the potential for new jobs as a result of the expansion, Rasler said it currently looks like the company’s R & D department will be in need of approximately eight new positions once the expansion is completed, with potential for more positions to be added in the future.
“The immediate job needs for the R & D shop will be about eight positions,” Rasler said, “and with the expansion we’re hoping to grow from there.”
As things stand now, Rasler said he hopes to have the expansion work completed on the new building by Jan. 1.