Continental Structural Plastics, Inc. (CSP), an exterior body panels and structural composites components supplier, announced plans on Wednesday, Nov. 14, to expand its operations in Huntington, creating up to 50 new jobs by 2015.
The Michigan-based company will invest $6.3 million to renovate and equip its 203,000 square-foot Huntington facility to accommodate a new production line for the 2015 Corvette model body panels. Renovations on the facility, which currently manufactures products for other General Motors and Ford vehicles, are expected to be complete by spring 2013.
"CSP's growth reflects the proven strength of the Hoosier State's automotive industry, a sector hard hit by the sluggish national economy. However, the industry is on the rebound with Indiana leading the recovery thanks to our work in preserving a low-tax, pro-business environment," says Dan Hasler, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
CSP currently has 286 full-time employees in Huntington and has already begun hiring additional production, logistics, engineering and administrative associates.
"CSP is very proud of the accomplishments of our team in Huntington," said Frank Macher, chief executive officer of CSP. "Much has been achieved since our start-up three years ago. The partnership we have with the state of Indiana and city of Huntington has been remarkable. The business friendly policies and low-tax environment have made continued investment in our Huntington plant a very easy decision. We are pleased to manufacture products for the newest model of one of America's most iconic vehicles - the Corvette - at our Huntington facility."
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered CSP up to $300,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Huntington will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of Huntington County Economic Development.
Mark Wickersham, executive director for Huntington County Economic Development, presented Macher with a $50,000 grant to assist with renovations to the Huntington facility. The source of the grant is funded via the city of Huntington's Capital Improvement Plan for industrial development, and the revenues used for that plan come from County Economic Development Income Taxes.
"CSP has made a huge impact in our city in a very short period of time as one of our newest and largest employers," says Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters. "It's an honor for me to serve as mayor of the city which produces the bodies for the Chevy Corvette and other well known cars like Lincoln MK S and parts for Chevy Volt. I am very proud of the team at CSP and really appreciate their commitment to Huntington."
Complete caption: Mark Wickersham (second from left), executive director of Huntington County Economic Development, presents a grant for $50,000 to Frank Macher (fifth from left), chief executive officer of Continental Structural Plastics, on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The grant will help offset the costs of renovating the CSP building, which was awarded a contract from General Motors, creating new jobs in Huntington. Pictured are (from left) Kendall Mickley, Huntington County councilman; Wickersham; Steve Kimmel, executive director of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce; Leon Hurlburt, Huntington County commissioner; Macher; and Brooks Fetters, mayor of Huntington.