The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Business

January 18, 2013

Pence: ‘Manufacturing economy is back in Indiana’

Governor, other officials applaud opening of GTI plant

ANDERSON, Ind. — Jon Adams leaned into the microphone, raising his voice over the mechanical hum of the production floor.

“It seems like just a few short weeks ago, all of this was just an ordinary Indiana farm field,” said Adams, general manager of Greenville Technology, Inc.’s Anderson plant.

That was last July, when the major Honda plastic components manufacturer broke ground in Anderson’s Flagship Enterprise Center business park.

Friday, just six months later, it marked its grand opening.

A host of local, state and international dignitaries spoke, including U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, on his first economic development trip since taking office.

Other speakers included Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana Vice President Bob Nelson and GTI president Sho Kurita.

“We are very fortunate to partner with the city of Anderson,” Kurita said. “We thank you very much.”

Quick turnaround

“Last summer, my predecessor Mitch Daniels helped break the ground at this facility,” Pence said Friday. “It is to GTI’s credit that just a few short months later I get to celebrate that this place is open and there is product already rolling off the line.”

Last summer, the Anderson Redevelopment Commission and the Economic Development Commission approved giving $3.25 million help build the new $21.4 million plant — an incentive that’s expected to eventually create 325 jobs.

For a little over two weeks now, the facility has been actively producing parts for two vehicles — the Honda Civic sedan and the Acura ILX ­— for Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, Adams said. The plant currently makes 12 parts for those vehicles.

“This happened faster than any construction I’ve seen in my career,” he said. “It was amazing.”

Adams said the number of parts would likely be closer to 100 by December, and it could expand to include other vehicles soon. The facility currently employs about 55, but will approach 200 by the end of the year, he said.

“We’re installing state-of-the-art machinery,” he said. “We’re training our highly-skilled associates,” he said.

Bringing manufacturing back

At one time a major Madison County employer, General Motors sold its last Anderson subsidiary in 1999.

But “the city is rebounding,” Smith said.

He points to a series of new developers since 2004, including Nestle USA, GTI and, most recently, auto engine management and climate control systems manufacturer Keihin North America, which this week said it would open at Flagship.

“I maintain that Anderson’s always had a good location, a good labor market and a good group of people who work hard to get (developers like) GTI,” he said.

Last year, Smith’s office made 10 jobs announcements, accounting for about 1,100 anticipated jobs and more than $210 million in anticipated new investments.

GTI and other manufacturers are creating jobs across the state, Pence said.

“Manufacturing never left Indiana,” he said Friday. “But a major manufacturing economy is back in Indiana, and it will continue to grow from this day.”

Find Baylee Pulliam on Facebook and @BayleeNPulliam on Twitter,  or call 648-4250.

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