GOSHEN - Goshen-based aluminum products manufacturer Bearcat Corp. is expanding its Elkhart County operations. The company is investing $6 million to add 6,000 square feet to its existing facility and create up to 40 jobs by 2019.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the expansion began in January and Bearcat hopes to have the new space operational next month. As part of the project, the company is adding a fully-automated anodizing line.

Bearcat currently employs 23 full-time workers and will begin hiring for metal fabrication and anodizing manufacturing positions next month.

"Bearcat Corporation has had a long history in northern Indiana," said Nick Davis, vice president of operations. "We have found that Elkhart County is an ideal place to grow a business due to an experienced and proven labor force. We also feel that the support from the state along with our local governments makes Indiana a great place to be for years to come."

The company produces aluminum products including ladders, band stands, podiums and dock accessories for the marine and recreational vehicle industries, as well as marching bands. The IEDC says Bearcat has plans to expand its product line to include stainless steel products as well.

The IEDC has offered Bearcat up to $150,000 in conditional, performance-based tax credits.