The LaGrange County Village of Howe will be the new manufacturing home of a leading automotive products supplier.
Exo-s has promised to bring 250-jobs to town by 2016, although that’s not the same as bringing 250-new job openings for locals to fill.
Exo-s is consolidating manufacturing operations now located in Three Rivers, and Centreville, Michigan where 200 employees now work.
All 200 will be given the chance to keep their jobs and to move with the company some 26 miles down the road. “One of the fall-outs of this is, we’re looking very definitely at being able to move some of our residential real estate with this particular acquisition to the county that some of those people will want to live in the community that they work, and so consequently we’re looking forward to some of those people moving into the area,” said LaGrange County Commissioner Jac Price.
Exo-s will consolidate in the former Multi-Plex building along State Road 9, just south of the Indiana Toll Road.
While the project is about consolidation, it is also about expansion. “In the next 14 months, we’ll be transitioning the operations of these two facilities in Michigan to Indiana, so we’re looking at base employment in Howe of about 250 employees within the next 24 months of so,” said Exo-s Plant Manager Todd Fowler.
The building in question is about 191,000 square feet, and had been difficult to sell because of its size, according to Price.
The building is admittedly more plant than Exo-s needs. “But they’re probably going to need about a third of the building presently and the hope to expand their business, to be able to potentially fill the building over a number of years, that’s other good news for LaGrange County because if they fill the building, that’ll be more jobs,” said Commissioner Price.
Exo-s looked at several facilities in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio before settling on Howe.
Along with the usual economic incentives, Exo-s is also being given a $2 million forgivable loan out of LaGrange’s County’s Major Moves account. If Exo-s lives up to its job creation promises it will not have to pay back the loan.