The promised investment in Jackson County was $106 million in 2021.
That was the fifth-highest total since the Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. was created. in 1984, said Jim Plump, who has been executive director since the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization’s inception.
The highest was $177 million in 2013, followed by $175 million in 2014.
So far this year, Plump said the promised investment is $174.8 million.
“My overall feeling is that after COVID in 2020, where many projects were planned but never materialized, companies have come back strong in the last two years,” he said of what he attributes to a strong 2022 so far.
Will this record be reached by the end of the year?
“We’re actively working on several other projects that could happen in the next month or so,” Plump said. “Once we get into the middle of the fourth quarter, most of that investment is not going to happen this calendar year, so they’re going to be accounted for in 2023. It just depends on when the investment is going to happen.”
Promised investment is the amount that domestic industries plan to invest.
“I always say that we (JCIDC) do not invest, we do not employ people, we do not pay the salaries of those people. What we do is work with companies to create a good atmosphere where companies can be profitable,” Plump said during a recent Power Luncheon at the Jackson County Chamber in Seymour.
“We definitely work with incentives through the state, through the locals, and so we follow up on the promised investments because I think what that does is show the activity that’s going on,” he said. “Also, the promised investment will ultimately go to increase the assessed value of Jackson County, which ultimately should keep your taxes relatively stable because the value in Jackson County is increasing.”
Looking at the two major years of promised investment, Plump said the JCIDC refers to them as the “Cummins years.”
“That was when Cummins was putting a heck of a lot of money into their Hedgehog project when they built the new office building and invested in a lot of equipment to create the Hedgehog,” he said of the Columbus-based company opening a technical center. for high-horsepower engines at Seymour. “These are bars that we look at. The numbers… are pretty amazing.”
While the past two years have been challenging for a variety of reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Plump said the current economy is good and strong in Jackson County and south central Indiana.
“There’s been some hiccups along the way, but I think overall, Seymour, Jackson County, south central Indiana has been through the last two years relatively well,” he said.
Looking at the investment promised so far in 2022, Plump said JCIDC has worked on 11 successful projects.
Among the largest at $174.8 million are Aisin Drivetrain Inc. with $51 million, Valeo with $40 million, Aisin USA Mfg. Inc. with $27.5 million, Cummins Inc. with $20 million, Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc. with $20 million and The Royal Group. to 10 million dollars. Aisin Drivetrain is in Crothersville, while the other five companies are in Seymour.
Of the 11 projects, nine have expanded and two are new locations: Guardian Bikes and Metal Protection Lenoli USA, both in Seymour.
“Our marketing message remains the same: Great location and great transportation system in a growing area,” Plump said.
Home Products International-North America Inc. announced this spring that it would divest its Seymour-based clothing care and home organization businesses to focus on its core plastics business. HPI owned and operated several metal stamping plants and distribution centers in Seymour, where it manufactured ironing boards.
However, during the Power Lunch, Plump said it looks like there is a successful buyer of the business out of bankruptcy court.
“They’re looking to restart a factory to make ironing boards here in Jackson County,” he said.
“This thing called economy has a lot of ups and downs,” he added. “For now, we are certainly ready. We were in a slump in 2020, and so now, we’re very pleased to be at this point.”