Columbia City could soon be swarming with job-seekers.
Two projects will add more than 200 jobs to the Whitley County citys economy by 2016, state officials said Tuesday.
Micropulse Inc., a Columbia City-based medical device manufacturer, is investing $14.3 million and creating up to 100 new jobs as it expands operations in two phases.
Gator Cases Inc., a Florida-based music instrument case maker, is investing $4.5 million and creating up to 106 jobs as it moves distribution from a facility in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Gov. Mike Pence credited the states fiscal policies, tax structure and workforce for sparking investment.
Thanks to Indianas robust infrastructure, low-tax economy and quick and predictable regulatory environment, we are continually winning opportunities to bring more jobs to hardworking Hoosiers, he said in a statement.
State officials have been particularly successful attracting companies investing in warehouse and distribution operations. Manufacturing and logistics combine to employ one in four Hoosiers.
Logistics refers to warehouse and shipping operations, such as the $70 million distribution center that Family Dollar Stores Inc. built in Ashley, creating 350 jobs, and the $36 million distribution center General Mills built near Fort Wayne International Airport, creating 65 jobs. Both operations opened last year.
The life sciences sector has been another focus for state officials. About 2,000 life science companies make a $50 billion contribution to Indianas economy, officials said.
Columbia City has a population of about 8,800 and lies between Fort Wayne and Warsaw, which is considered the orthopedics capital of the world.
The company develops and makes implants and the instruments that surgeons use to implant artificial hips, knees and other orthopedic parts. It also produces sterilization cases and trays for those instruments.
Micropulse will equip and renovate its existing 100,000-square-foot facility in two phases. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
The first phase involves installing new equipment and is expected to be finished by the end of 2014.
The second phase, which will begin next year, includes adding 60,000 square feet onto the facility.
The addition will allow the company to expand its contract manufacturing operation and continue to house the Orthovation Center, which nurtures start-ups in the orthopedics industry.
Brian Emerick, Micropulses founder and president, said the state is a leader in pro-business initiatives. He also credits the workforce for helping him expand.
We are growing in Indiana for a number of reasons, including our talented people, a tremendous infrastructure of suppliers, customers and the availability of future skilled workers, he said in a statement.
George Schrumpf, Whitley County commissioner, thanked Emerick for supporting the regions community and economic development efforts.
Micropulse is filling machinist, quality engineering and manufacturing engineering positions. Interested candidates can apply by going to www.micropulseinc.com/employment.html.
The manufacturer designs and makes hard cases and bags to protect various products, including band instruments.
Gator Cases sells more than 1,000 different products made from vacuum-formed plastics, molded plastics, wood and other materials. Customers include more than 3,000 dealers in more than 90 countries.
The company specializes in creating customized products for manufacturers worldwide, including those in the pro-audio, audiovisual and music markets.
Gator Cases will lease, renovate and equip a 168,000-square-foot facility at 2499 S. 600 E. in Columbia City. The project is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
Crystal Morris, Gator Cases president and co-founder, said she is excited to expand the company in Columbia City.
The business friendly climate, central location and excellent workforce were the leading factors in our decision, she said in a statement.
Gator Cases will begin filling manufacturing, operation and distribution positions in December. Interested candidates can apply by emailing email@example.com.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered incentives to both companies based on their hiring plans. The employers will not receive full benefits unless they create all the jobs promised.
The IEDC offered Micropulse up to $700,000 in tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants. The state organization offered Gator Cases up to $550,000 in tax credits.
Whitley County officials approved additional tax abatements. Schrumpf, county commissioner, said Gator Cases considered other locations before deciding on Columbia City.