Expansions Continue County's 'Positive Momentum'

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The chief executive officer of the Whitley County Economic Development Corp. says two jobs announcements are a reflection of the region's strong manufacturing work force. Alan Tio says Florida-based Gator Cases Inc.'s plan to relocate a distribution center to Columbia City and Micropulse Inc.'s proposed expansion in the city could add more than 200 total jobs by 2016. October 8, 2013

News Release

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. - Gator Cases, Inc., a manufacturer of cases, bags and stands for the music, pro-audio, audiovisual markets and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) case suppliers, announced plans today to relocate its distribution center from Chattanooga, Tenn. to here, creating up to 106 new jobs by 2016.

The Tampa, Fla.-headquartered company, which designs and manufactures hard cases and bags to protect a variety of products, will invest $4,464,000 to lease, renovate and equip a 168,000 square-foot facility at 2499 S. 600 E. in Columbia City. The new facility, which is expected to be complete by January 2014, will house its rotational molding factory.

"Gator Cases' decision to grow in Indiana is the latest proof of the confidence that growing companies have in our prosperous business climate," said Governor Mike Pence. "Thanks to Indiana's robust infrastructure, low-tax economy and quick and predictable regulatory environment, we are continually winning opportunities to bring more jobs to hardworking Hoosiers."

Gator Cases, which employs 28 full-time associates in Indiana and 64 across the country, plans to begin hiring manufacturing, operation and distribution positions this December. Interested candidates can apply by emailing jobs@gatorcases.com.

"We are very excited to continue our expansion in Indiana," said Crystal Morris, president of Gator Cases. "The business friendly climate, central location and excellent workforce were the leading factors in our decision to choose the Columbia City location. We are looking forward to continuing our growth of USA manufacturing along with streamlining our distribution to insure best in class performance for our customers."

Founded in 2000 in Tampa, Fla. by father-daughter team Jerry Freed and Crystal Morris, Gator Cases manufactures hard case and bag solutions for pro audio, information technology, audio visual, general utility, band instrument and percussion instruments. Offering more than 1,000 different solutions made from vacuum-formed plastics, rotational-molded plastics, wood, sewn and ethylene-vinyl acetate materials, the company sells through more than 3,000 dealers with products offered in more than 90 countries. The company also specializes in creating OEM custom case solution for manufacturers around the world.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Gator Cases, Inc. up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits 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. Whitley County approved additional tax abatement at the request of Whitley County Economic Development Corporation.

"We understand that Gator Cases considered a number of options for what represents an impressive milestone in the company's development," said Whitley County Commissioner George Schrumpf. "With that in mind, we commend the owners' decision to grow the business in Northeast Indiana and we are pleased to welcome Gator Cases to Whitley County."

About Gator Cases

Gator Cases was founded in 2000 by father-daughter team Jerry Freed and Crystal Morris in Tampa, Florida. They launched an initial small offering of molded plastic guitar cases at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville, Tennessee. From there they expanded the product line to include case and bag solutions for pro audio, IT, audio visual, general utility, band instrument, and percussion. The line now consists of over 1000 different solutions that are made from vacuum-formed plastics, rotational-molded plastics, wood, sewn, and EVA materials. To learn more, visit www.gatorcases.com.

About IEDC

Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC.

The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.

October 8, 2013

News Release

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. - Micropulse, Inc., a medical device manufacturer for the orthopedic and cardiovascular industries, announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 100 new jobs by 2016.

"From pharmaceutical to orthopedic leaders, Indiana's sound fiscal policies, low-tax structure and talented workforce continue to be a catalyst of growth and success for life sciences companies like Micropulse," said Governor Mike Pence. "Indiana has developed a comprehensive formula of business-friendly and entrepreneur-friendly remedies that give companies in this sector a competitive edge and are further testament to the state's reputation as the orthopedics capital of the world."

The homegrown-Hoosier company develops and manufactures orthopedic instruments, implants and sterilization cases and trays, as well as incubates orthopedic startup companies in-house. The company will invest $14.3 million to equip and renovate its current 100,000 square-foot facility in two phases through 2017. The project's first phase, which includes equipment installation, is expected to be complete by late next year.

By 2015, phase two of the project will commence, including a 60,000 square foot facility expansion and some renovation. The new expansion will house additional offices and precision machines and will accommodate growth of its core contract manufacturing business and continued support of the startup incubator Orthovation Center.

"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," said Brian Emerick, founder and president of Micropulse. "Indiana continues to lead the nation, encouraging companies like Micropulse to grow through numerous pro-business initiatives and low tax rates."

Founded in 1988 in Emerick's garage, today Micropulse employs more than 240 full-time Hoosiers. It has already begun the process of hiring additional skilled machinists, quality engineering and manufacturing engineering positions on an ongoing basis. Interested candidates can apply by visiting www.micropulseinc.com/employment.html.

Named a 2008 Company to Watch and a 2011 Company to Watch Spotlight Award recipient, Micropulse houses and incubates orthopedic startups through its Orthovation Center and also develops innovative orthopedic implants that are available for licensing to other companies.

"We are pleased to support Micropulse's expansion in Whitley County and commend company owner Brian Emerick for his ongoing commitment to our community," said Whitley County Commissioner George Schrumpf. "We greatly appreciate how involved the Micropulse team is in local and regional community and economic development efforts."

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Micropulse, Inc., up to $700,000 in performance-based 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