Two companies in northwest Indiana have announced expansions that are expected to create jobs. Portage-based Green Sense Farms LLC is planning to pump more than $2 million into upgrading an indoor farming facility and add 20 workers before the end of the year. Linde North America is marking the grand opening of a $4 million specialty gasses operation in Hammond that could lead to about 10 new jobs. April 1, 2014
PORTAGE, Ind. – Green Sense Farms, LLC and Linde Gas North America, LLC announced plans today to expand their operations in northwest Indiana, creating up to a combined 28 new jobs in the coming years.
“Growing companies like Green Sense Farms and Linde know that when they need a state that works, they look to Indiana,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Key business strengths, such as an affordable business climate, targeted workforce training and a central Midwest location, allow companies to get more done here, creating new jobs and nurturing our Hoosier economy.”
Green Sense Farms, a homegrown-Hoosier company that operates a commercial indoor vertical farm, will invest $2.14 million to renovate and equip a 30,000 square-foot facility at AmeriPlex at the Port in Portage, which will be fully operational this month. The company, which grows lettuce, leafy greens and herbs in a pesticide-free environment, operates 14 growing towers that are 25 feet tall in two climate-controlled grow rooms with energy efficient Philips LED growing lights. Serving clients including Whole Foods throughout five states, the company plans to create up to 20 new jobs by 2015.
“We chose Portage for our first farm because of the business-friendly environment, the good work force and the easy access to the interstate highway system that allows us to serve a five-state area,” said Robert Colangelo, co-founding farmer and president of Green Sense Farms. “We look forward to promoting sustainable farming and being part of the Duneland Community, a precious ecosystem.”
Green Sense Farms is currently hiring for positions that will assist with seeding, transplanting, harvesting and packing. Interested candidates can apply by sending a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Green Sense adds to Portage’s diverse business climate,” said Portage Mayor James Snyder. “We truly believe that they emulate what we are trying to achieve- good-paying jobs with a sustainable environment. With a company like Green Sense, Portage is getting the best of both worlds.”
Linde, a member of the Munich, Germany-based The Linde Group, invested $4 million to construct and equip a new 3,800 square-foot specialty gasses production facility adjacent to its current operations in Hammond, which is celebrating its grand opening today. The company, which manufactures industrial, specialty and medical gasses such as oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, helium and hydrogen, supplies its customers through on-site production, pipeline tankers and cylinders. As part of its new specialty gas operation, the company plans to create up to eight new jobs by 2016.
“Our location in Indiana gives Linde and its independent distributors the ability to serve high quality products to a broad range of end users throughout North America,” said Jack Taylor, plant manager of Linde in Hammond. “We are very proud of this new facility which melds perfectly with Linde's goal to be a total gas supplier and reinforces our commitment to our independent distributor network, the largest in North America. We are very thankful to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation for their help and support towards this project.”
Linde, which currently employs 5,000 associates across the United States, including more than 160 in Indiana, has already hired operators for its specialty gasses facility.
“We are very excited here in Hammond about the recent and notable expansion at Linde Gas on Michigan Street,” said Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr. “Anytime a company in Hammond invests time and money into the future of its business, it confirms its investment in the people of our city and in the region. Linde's expansion not only creates more jobs and a stronger, positive economic impact for Hammond, but also supports our vision of a progressive and forward-looking community.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Green Sense Farms, LLC up to $175,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. Linde Gas North America, LLC was offered up to $72,000 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 tax abatement for Green Sense Farms. The city of Hammond supports Linde's project.
Indiana's business climate allows companies to invest more into their operations, providing companies with the ideal environment for growth. Late last year the Tax Foundation ranked Indiana first in the Midwest and in the top 10 nationally for its 2014 Business Tax Climate Index.
About Green Sense Farms
At Green Sense Farms we take an eco-friendly approach to farming by creating an indoor vertical farm close to the consumer. Our growing facility allows us to control the environment so that we can consistently grow a high quality crop that can be harvested many times per year. The quality and freshness of our produce is enhanced through our ability to precisely control the temperature, humidity, light, water and organic nutrients that are delivered to each plant, thereby maximizing the yield and minimizing the footprint of our farm by recycling water and nutrients. Our produce is harvested and available to the retail consumer 365 days a year and can be delivered to a store near you within 48 hours. For more information about Green Sense Farms, visit www.greensensefarms.com.
In the 2013 financial year, The Linde Group generated revenue of EUR 16.655 bn (USD 23.1 bn), making it the largest gases and engineering company in the world with approximately 63,500 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, see The Linde Group online at www.linde.com.
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: The Indiana Economic Development Corp.