Business and Economics

Fortune 200 Auto Supplier Drives Business Into Region

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December 12, 2014—Lear Corporation, a global supplier of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems, announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 96 new jobs by 2019.

The Southfield, Michigan-based company will invest $7.28 million to lease and equip a new 93,000 square-foot facility in Portage. The facility, which is expected to be fully operational by June 2015, will allow the company to increase storage space, optimize production requirements and meet increased industry demand for Ford Explorer seat systems.

“Indiana’s workforce is unmatched and is our state’s greatest asset,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Lear continues to grow in Indiana because Hoosiers provide the drive, determination and innovation that companies need to excel in today’s competitive business environment. Couple this with Indiana’s reduced restrictive regulations, lowered taxes, investments in infrastructure and triple-A bond rating, and it’s easy to see why Indiana is a state that works.”

Lear, which currently employs 1,200 full-time Indiana associates, plans to begin hiring production assemblers in April, aiming to have all 96 positions hired within the year. Interested applicants may apply at WorkOne in Portage or by visiting www.lear.com/careers.

“We have a great workforce in Indiana,” said Mel Stephens, senior vice president of communications at Lear. “We have been operating successfully there since 1985, and we are pleased that we are able to grow our business in Indiana.”

Founded in 1917 as American Metal Products, Lear provides complete seating and electrical systems for the automotive industry. As one of the world’s only fully-integrated manufacturers of the entire seat, materials produced by the Fortune 200 company can be found on more than 300 vehicle nameplates industry-wide.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Lear Corporation up to $675,000 in conditional tax credits 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 Portage approved additional incentives at the request of the Portage Economic Development Corporation.

“We are looking forward to Lear Corporation’s expansion in Portage,” said Portage Mayor James Snyder. “We believe that expansions like these make the region stronger. Lear’s partnership with Ford will allow us to continue our diverse job climate with good wages and a better living for our residents. Portage remains the leader in job growth, and we believe we have set the standard of good wages that will benefit generations to come.”

Automotive suppliers like Lear continue to expand their operations and add jobs in Indiana. With their growth helping lead the way, Indiana continues to have the highest concentration of private sector manufacturing jobs in the nation.

Source: Indiana Economic Development Corporation

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