Manufacturer Expanding in Northwest Indiana

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A Michigan-based automotive industry supplier is planning to add nearly 100 jobs in Porter County by 2019. Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA) says it will pump around $7.3 million into a new Portage facility, which it expects to be operational in the first half of next year. The northwest Indiana operation will produce seat systems for the Ford Explorer.

December 11, 2014

News Release

PORTAGE, Ind. - Lear Corporation, a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems, announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 96 new jobs by 2019.

The Southfield, Michigan-based company will invest $7.28 million to lease and equip a new 93,000 square-foot facility in Portage. The facility, which is expected to be fully operational by June 2015, will allow the company to increase storage space, optimize production requirements and meet increased industry demand for Ford Explorer seat systems.

"Indiana's workforce is unmatched and is our state's greatest asset," said Governor Mike Pence. "Lear continues to grow in Indiana because Hoosiers provide the drive, determination and innovation that companies need to excel in today's competitive business environment. Couple this with Indiana's reduced restrictive regulations, lowered taxes, investments in infrastructure and triple-A bond rating, and it's easy to see why Indiana is a state that works."

Lear, which currently employs 1,200 full-time Indiana associates, plans to begin hiring production assemblers in April, aiming to have all 96 positions hired within the year. Interested applicants may apply at WorkOne in Portage or by visiting www.lear.com/careers.

"We have a great workforce in Indiana," said Mel Stephens, senior vice president of communications at Lear. "We have been operating successfully there since 1985, and we are pleased that we are able to grow our business in Indiana."

Founded in 1917 as American Metal Products, Lear provides complete seating and electrical systems for the automotive industry. As one of the world's only fully-integrated manufacturers of the entire seat, materials produced by the Fortune 200 company can be found on more than 300 vehicle nameplates industry-wide.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Lear Corporation up to $675,000 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. The city of Portage approved additional incentives at the request of the Portage Economic Development Corporation.

"We are looking forward to Lear Corporation's expansion in Portage," said Portage Mayor James Snyder. "We believe that expansions like these make the region stronger. Lear's partnership with Ford will allow us to continue our diverse job climate with good wages and a better living for our residents. Portage remains the leader in job growth, and we believe we have set the standard of good wages that will benefit generations to come."

Automotive suppliers like Lear continue to expand their operations and add jobs in Indiana. With their growth helping lead the way, Indiana continues to have the highest concentration of private sector manufacturing jobs in the nation.

About Lear Corporation

Lear Corporation is one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems. The Company's world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by a diverse team of approximately 125,000 employees located in 36 countries. Lear ranks #177 among the Fortune 500. Lear's headquarters are in Southfield, Michigan, and Lear is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol [LEA]. Further information about Lear is available at www.lear.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.

Source: Indiana Economic Development Corp.