GREENFIELD — A Greenfield manufacturer of automotive nuts and bolts is investing $21.7 million in expansions and adding at least 25 jobs over the next two years.
Indiana Automotive Fasteners announced plans to the Greenfield City Council Wednesday before receiving unanimous approval on abatements for property taxes.
“We always appreciate this great city,” said IAF Vice President Samsoo Kim. “We hope to grow with the city of Greenfield.”
The company will add $15 million in new equipment, plus $6.7 million in building space. The company plans to break ground next month on 45,000 new square feet of office space and 48,900 square feet of manufacturing space at its Anderson Boulevard site, located at New Road and Franklin Street.
The announcement comes on the heels of even more growth over the last two years. In 2012, the company announced 25 new jobs and just over $15 million in new equipment. Skip Kuker, director of the Hancock Economic Development Council, said the company has been adding even more employees than what it promised: in the fall of 2012, IAF employed 378. Now, the company has 549 employees making just over $24 million in salaries.
The 25 new manufacturing employees announced Wednesday will mean $688,480 in additional payroll by 2016, with the average starting wage at $13.24 an hour, increasing to $14.40 an hour after six months on the job.
“IAF has been a stalwart within the community,” Kuker said. “They continue to grow and invest in Greenfield.”
Kuker said the 25 jobs over the next two years could be just the beginning of more opportunities, because the additional square footage of manufacturing space could mean more customers.
“You’ve got to put up a building, and once that building gets established, they know they can fill it up with some work they have,” Kuker said. “Then they’re probably going to go out and find more work. Hopefully that 25 will be just the start, but they know they can employ 25 with the business that they have. They don’t over promise.”
Chicage Castle, accounting manager for the company, said the equipment and building expansion is needed because of overall increased demand from customers. About 65 percent of the fasteners are shipped to Toyota, the company‘s top customer; Ford accounts for 20 percent of IAF’s business, Castle said.
Plans call for 15 new jobs to become available in 2015 and 10 new jobs by 2016. Castle said the company uses temp agencies for its hires.
The building expansion will be on the plant’s south side; a parking lot and pond will be moved to accommodate the new structure. Work should be complete by April 2015.
Kathy Robbins, general manager of human resources for the company, said the office space will include a new on-site cafeteria, training groom, conference room and locker rooms. A new on-site health-care facility will provide a physician and nurse practitioner for employees free of charge.
“Times are tough,” Robbins said. “We’re saving our team members $20 every time they go to the doctor.”
Robbins said more work is being handed off to IAF from the facility’s global parent company, Aoyama. Central Indiana is the perfect place to continue to do business, she added, because of its proximity to auto plants.
The company manufacturers around 1,400 different types of fasteners, which are used throughout various types of vehicles. Around 9 million fasteners are shipped out of the facility each day, said Chris Crafton, general manager.
“I like to say, ‘Everyone else builds the vehicle, but without us they can’t do anything because we hold it all together,’” Crafton said.
Tax abatements phase in property taxes over a 10-year period. The company will receive a $1.7 million tax break over the course of 10 years, Kuker said, for both the new building and the new equipment.
IAF is located in the city’s Tax Increment Finance district, so the abatements affect funding the city could have used for public infrastructure projects on the city’s north side. The council asked few questions of the company and thanked representatives for their commitment to Greenfield.
“I appreciate you guys locating here and being a good employer for our citizens,” Councilman Jason Horning said.
Indiana Automotive Fasteners expansion by the numbers
549: current employees, making $24 million in salaries annually
25: additional manufacturing employees by 2016, adding $688,480 to payroll with the average starting wage of $13.24 an hour
$15 million: additional investment in machinery and equipment
$6.7 million: additional investment in the building, with 45,000 new square feet of office space and 48,900 new square feet of manufacturing space.
Source: City of Greenfield property tax abatement file