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  • Master Spas employees assemble spas Monday. Master Spas announced Monday it will invest $15.3 million to expand, creating 107 jobs. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Master Spas employees apply fiberglass to the bottom of a spa during assembly at the Lincoln Parkway plant Monday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:00 am

Master Spas expanding, adding 107 jobs

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

A local hot tub manufacturer has found the water just right to wade into an expansion.

Master Spas on Monday announced plans to invest $15.3 million to expand operations on the west side of Fort Wayne. The investment is expected to create 107 jobs within the next four years.

Terry Valmassoi, company president, said Master Spas is pleased to grow its campus at 6927 Lincoln Parkway by adding a fourth building.

The manufacturer has acquired the adjoining property previously occupied by Fort Wayne Plastics at 510 Sumpter Drive. Plans call for converting the existing building into production, warehousing, research and development, and design space by the end of the year.

“We pride ourselves on quality and innovation, and we know this new facility will help us remain an industry leader in the community we love,” Valmassoi said in a statement.

Master Spas, which was founded in 1996, bills itself as “the largest swim spa manufacturer in the world and one of the largest portable spa and hot tub manufacturers in the country.”

The Fort Wayne company makes more than 100 hot tubs and 10 swim spas each day. Swim spas generate an oncoming current that allows swimmers to exercise in place, much like a runner using a treadmill.

The company's major markets are the U.S., Canada and Europe. Master Spas products are sold through a global network of more than 300 independent dealers.

The additional, 150,000-square-foot building will increase Master Spas' total manufacturing and office space to 460,000 square feet on 33 acres.

With the expanded production area, the manufacturer will expand its current line. But that's not unusual. The company brings new models and features to the market every year, Valmassoi said in an email.

Master Spas, which employs more than 450 in Fort Wayne, expects to fill at least 80 additional positions within the coming year.

Jobs will include production, supervisors, trainers, maintenance support, engineers, software developers, quality inspectors and warehouse workers.

Production workers earn $13 an hour. Maintenance technicians earn $16 to $19 an hour. Production supervisors earn $15 to $17 an hour. Exact wages depend on the candidate's experience and the position's responsibilities.

Applications are being accepted at www.masterspas.com.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered the company up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $75,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans.

Northeast Indiana Works will provide additional hiring and training assistance. The Allen County Council is being asked to consider additional economic incentives for the company, including tax breaks.

sslater@jg.net