Elkhart businesses expanding, nearly doubling jobs


Another business is expanding in Elkhart County, investing millions and adding jobs to the area known for high unemployment rates.

Lake Copper Conductors, LLC., manufactures bare copper wire. The company announced Monday night it will expand its operations, and create up to 23 jobs by 2014.

The company will invest about $3.4 million dollars in a new 90,000 square-foot facility that will specialize in drawing thin copper wire.

The company currently employs 28 associates in Indiana and said it plans to begin hiring additional machine operators later this year to coincide with the expansion.

The Executive Vice President, John Maurakami, said the company has had strong growth over the past few years in Elkhart because of the area’s skilled labor pool and business-friendly levels of government.

“Going forward, we expect continued growth from our expanding customer base and with our stakeholders in Elkhart and Indiana,” Murakami said.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Lake Copper Conductors, LLC., up to $125,000 in performance-based tad credits based on the company’s job creation plans.

The city of Elkhart initially approved additional property tax abatements.

Mayor Dick Moore said he is excited about the expansion and what it means for the area.

“This is another vote of confidence in our economic recovery. It is proof that Elkhart is a prime location for manufacturing and distribution.”

In Middlebury, hundreds turned out for the kick off of a job fair for Hi-Tech Housing Inc., which is also expanding.

Demand for the temporary housing units for people who have lost their homes because of natural disasters is up, and the company said it needs to hire about 150 workers as soon as possible.

Hi-Tech received a contract for 270 in July and just found out it needs to manufacture and additional 500 units.

The Middlebury plant manager told ABC 57 they hired dozens on the spot Monday, and they plan to do the same on Tuesday.

 He said most of the new hires have several years of experience in construction work, and the average applicant has been without work for about six months.

The Executive Senior Vice President told ABC 57 at one point, over 100 cars lined up outside of the plant. People arrived as early as 7 a.m., even though doors were not open until 9 a.m.

Some applicants told ABC 57 they currently have other jobs, but the pay is not good enough to provide for a family.

Others said they have been laid off several times this year already, and are sick of the constant turnover at many local manufacturing companies.

The job fair will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at 11055 C.R. 2 in Middlebury.

Two forms of identification are required, and a drug screening will be administered.



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