Calumet Pallet Co. Inc., a manufacturer of wooden pallets, plans to expand its Michigan City, Indiana, manufacturing center, creating up to 115 jobs by 2016.
The homegrown-Hoosier company, which also repairs old pallets or recycled pallets into landscape mulch, playground surfacing and animal bedding products, will invest $2.7 million to purchase and equip a new 93,000 square-foot facility. The new location, which also includes 14.5 acres of outdoor storage, will be complete by January 2014. Calumet Pallet, which currently employs 35 full-time associates, plans to begin hiring production and administrative positions this December.
"Calumet Pallet has been able to grow our business even through the tough economic times due to our ability to service our customers with a quality product at an honest pricing structure," said Jeff Bridegroom, Vice President and General Manager of Calumet Pallet. "We pick up a lot of customers just from word of mouth advertising from one customer to another. We intend on continuing to grow our business not only in Indiana, but nationally as well. We chose the facility in Michigan City after looking at several different locations. We knew we wanted to stay within the state of Indiana due to the state's friendly business climate, which allows businesses to prosper."
Founded in 1975 by Al Bridegroom, Calumet Pallet plans to increase production to more than 50,000 pallets per week immediately upon moving into its new facility. The company also plans to begin seeking new markets with the expansion, focusing on crane mats for the pipeline industry. With customers ranging from small manufacturers to Fortune 500 companies, Calumet Pallet intends to continue growth of its erosion tube line, Flow Best Filtering Tubes, which is used in the construction industry as an alternative to silt fences.
"On the list of decisions company leaders face, the decision on where to locate operations is perhaps one of the most far-reaching," said Gov. Mike Pence. "Indiana is a state that works because companies like Calumet Pallet have the power to flourish in our pro-growth business climate. With an industrious workforce, low taxes, limited regulations and strong infrastructure, we've built the best possible atmosphere for their success. For businesses searching for the location of their next investment, Indiana is always a good decision."
As an incentive, The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Calumet Pallet Co. Inc. up to $600,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $60,000 in training grants 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 Michigan City approved additional tax abatement at the request of the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City.
"I am excited that Calumet Pallet chose Michigan City as the site of its new location and business expansion," said Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer. "It is a good feeling for me as mayor to know that new jobs are coming to Michigan City. This is something I am certainly looking forward to. Michigan City, Ind. is a prime location for business investment and economic growth. Our proximity to interstate highways, railways and a major international port are many of the desirable resources we have available. Once again, I welcome Calumet Pallet to Michigan City and I look forward to working with its leaders for their future success."