Mayor Touts 'Great Thing' in Huntington

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The company expanded its current Huntington facility in 2013 (Image of 2013 ribbon cutting courtesy of the Huntington Economic Development Corp). The company expanded its current Huntington facility in 2013 (Image of 2013 ribbon cutting courtesy of the Huntington Economic Development Corp).
HUNTINGTON -

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters believes the city has landed the largest single capital investment by a company in its history. Michigan-based Continental Structural Plastics Inc. plans to pump $33.5 million into a new facility adjacent to its current plant, creating 80 jobs over the next four years. The expansion comes on the heels of Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) announcing plans to relocate manufacturing operations from its United Technologies Electronic Controls Inc. subsidiary in Huntington, eventually leaving around 700 without a job.

Fetters says the tax abatement process with CSP began just before the UTEC move.

Fetters tells Inside INdiana Business other communities were considered for the expansion, but Huntington stood out for several reasons including its proven, manufacturing-focused work force and the way in which city, county and state economic development leaders have come together. "Number one, they're familiar with Huntington," Fetters said. "Our permitting processes are easy. The quality of life here that the work force enjoys, and that new workers coming to the area can enjoy here in our community, I think is part. The fact that they knew Huntington as a host to their business was a lot of what drove them to Huntington." He also credited CSP plant manager Jerry Reid as a key in bringing the new facility to the northeast Indiana city.

The new jobs are expected to be added by 2020 and pay higher-than-county-average wages. CSP has over 320 employees in Huntington. The company manufactures plastic components for vehicles including the Chevrolet Corvette and in 2013, cut the ribbon on a $6.9 million expansion of its existing factory.

Last week, the state and city of Indianapolis announced job-creation incentives that were paid to UTC and its Marion County-based subsidiary Carrier Corp. were being clawed back. Fetters says his city also provided tax breaks, but "as far as I know, they (UTEC) hit all of their rubrics. I would assume that if they're doing that for other communities, that probably at some point, they'll do that for Huntington." Fetters adds that UTEC has been and continues to be a "great corporate citizen" during its many years in Huntington. He says the company is even currently hiring. Even after the manufacturing jobs move south of the border, the parent company says it plans to keep its UTEC headquarters in Huntington.

Fetters says the tax abatement process with CSP began just before Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) announced it would relocate manufacturing operations from its United Technologies Electronic Controls Inc. subsidiary in Huntington, eventually leaving around 700 without a job.
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