Grabill Hits Jobs Jackpot

By Peter Ambrose
By Jeff Neumeyer

July 26, 2011 Updated Jul 26, 2011 at 5:17 PM EDT

GRABILL, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The small town of Grabill is celebrating a big jobs victory, as an empty factory gets converted into a thriving new manufacturing operation.

In Grabill, the wheels of progress are turning.

Meridian Automotive moved out of a 275,000 square foot building northeast of town in 2009.

R3 Composites is now moving in, with designs of building a big payroll.

Mark Glidden/Plant Manager: " Our end goal is by the end of 2014 to have approximately 400 jobs on hand."

400 full-time positions, says Glidden.

The assembly line workers are looking at starting pay between $8.50 and $10.00 an hour.

The company is promising to offer a competitive benefits package.

12 people are already hired and working.

Bathroom fixtures will be the initial product focus, but the factory will also make body panels for cars and trucks, with hopes the Marysville Ohio Honda Plant and Fort Wayne Truck Assembly Plant will be a customer.

Governor Daniels and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance are credited for coming up with a generous incentive package.

Glidden: " It totals over $2.8 million, and that really helped seal the deal."

Jeff Neumeyer: " Come to downtown Grabill, you immediately get a sense of small town America. But when a new company comes to town, they celebrate here like some bigger city."

Cynthia Barhydt/Grabill Clerk-Treasurer: " It's awesome. We're excited about having the new added employees."

Judy Evans husband was recently laid off.

Judy Evans/Excited About New Jobs: " We’re glad it's not something going to China or Mexico. Let's get some of these guys right here that need work, working."

Chris Morrical/Husband Builds Homes: " It would be great to see some new people come into the area, and maybe bring some new housing and development along with it."

Pro Resources out of Auburn is screening job applicants for a hiring process that figures to go on for at least three years.




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