The Braun Corporation, a wheelchair lift and wheelchair vehicle manufacturer, will invest $7.5 million to expand its headquarters in Winamac, Indiana
, creating up to 70 jobs by 2016.
The homegrown-Hoosier company will relocate production from its Kalamazoo, Mich. facility to Winamac and convert an 18,000 square-foot production line located at its Winamac headquarters. The new production line, which is anticipated to be fully operational late next year, will allow Braun to convert additional Dodge, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota minivans into rear-entry, wheelchair accessible vehicles.
As part of the expansion, Braun will also install a new line to convert trucks and SUVs. To support this product growth, the company will expand its infrastructure and facilities, including an upgrade to material handling, shipping and receiving operations. It will also launch a new enterprise resource planning system.
"We are truly excited about what our growth plans mean for our customers, our employees, as well as the local community and the state of Indiana," said Nick Gutwein, president of Braun. "We firmly believe there is no better place to invest than Pulaski County. Here, in rural Indiana, we have been able to build a company over four decades with men and women who have a true desire to create the best products. They are skilled, possess a very strong work ethic and instinctively believe in putting customers first. This incredible workforce, combined with government policy by Indiana lawmakers who understand business and economic growth, continue to make Winamac our location of choice."
Braun, which currently has more than 800 full-time employees in Indiana, has already begun hiring additional production line associates and will fill engineering, management, information technology, sales, marketing and aftersales positions over the next year.
"With their vision and drive, Hoosiers have a way of making the world a better place," said Gov. Mike Pence. "Through Ralph Braun's ingenuity to develop new ways to expand mobility, he built a business and a legacy that helps expand opportunities for individuals around the world. I'm proud that as a state that works, Indiana provided the best business climate for Braun to build this company and help people maintain active lives, regardless of physical limitation."
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered The Braun Corporation up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. In addition, Pulaski County approved additional tax abatement at the request of Pulaski County Economic Development.