Carrier Set in Indy For 'At Least' a Decade

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith says Carrier Corp.'s reconsideration of moving manufacturing jobs from its Indianapolis plant to Mexico signals a "decade commitment, at least." Plans now call for retaining about 1,000 jobs and include a $16 million investment to transform the operation into what the company says will be a Center of Excellence for gas furnace production. In a clip from an interview that will air this weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television, Smith says he thinks the plant will become the preeminent facility of its kind in North America.

Inside INdiana Business has reported the Indiana Economic Development Corp. plans to give the subsidiary of Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) a total incentive package of $7 million over the next ten years.

The economic impact of UTC's initial announcement to pull production operations in Indianapolis has already been felt keenly throughout the state. The United Technologies Electronic Controls Inc. headquarters in Huntington, which is also owned by UTC and is a Carrier supplier, still appears headed for closure. It employs some 700 workers. Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters told our partners at WPTA-TV in Fort Wayne he remains hopeful those jobs could be retained in light of Carrier's change of course.

Another manufacturer with a presence in Indianapolis, Rexnord Corp. (NYSE: RXN), detailed plans last month to move its manufacturing operations and 300 jobs out of Indy to Monterrey, Mexico, the same city the Carrier was slated to go.

PNC Financial Services Regional Economist Kurt Rankin estimates that by virtue of 1,000 Carrier jobs staying, $38 million in wages will remain in Indianapolis. He says the state's economy also benefits from this type of job, adding Carrier workers have a "highly sought-after skill set" and could be candidates to leave Indiana if work dried up. Rankin says a reduction in high-paying jobs like the ones at Carrier would also cut into home values in the community.

You can see more of the interview with Victor Smith this weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television.

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