JASPER, IN (WFIE) - U.S. manufacturing jobs have been hard to find in recent years, but Wednesday, there's good economic news from Jasper. Indiana Furniture is expanding and adding to its payroll.
Jasper's Mayor tells 14 News that in the past few years, manufacturing in the entire state took a hit. Indiana Furniture says they're hoping this multi-million-dollar expansion helps the industry rebuild and move forward.
"We're certainly planning for the rebound and expect that within the next few years the whole industry will be back," said President and CEO of Indiana Furniture, Bret Ackerman.
Indiana Furniture has been in business for over a 100 years. Wednesday, they broke ground on a new 30,000 square foot expansion to their 90,000 square foot facility on Jasper's south side. State Representative Mark Messmer tells 14 News a new state law passed last year that rewards existing businesses for their investments and offers tax abatements.
"Anything that we can do to attract and grow businesses, private sector jobs, net new jobs to the community, to the state," said Messmer.
"It reduces the taxes on the new investments that they made without affecting really the current taxes that they pay," said Jasper Mayor, Terry Seitz.
Indiana Furniture says the new facility will include state of the art equipment to create wooden parts for office furniture. Messmer tells 14 News the cost of doing business overseas is rising. He says this expansion will allow for more local part component creation, meaning better quality and a better economy.
"This allows them to retake control of that and do it efficiently," said Messmer.
Mayor Seitz says Dubois County is in the top five of Indiana's highest employed counties.
Indiana Furniture says they're not sure exactly how many new jobs this means yet, but they will be hiring. They say the new building will be complete by September and should be up and running by the end of the year.