78 new jobs to be created by Bremen plant expansion

A Bremen based bearing maker will have some bearing on the future of the local job market.

Universal Bearings, LLC has decided to build a brand new $39 million plant, creating 78 new jobs by 2017.

“78 jobs, and probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $19 an hour,” said Jerry Chavez, Executive Director of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation.

Plans call for the first ten new workers to be hired during the fourth quarter of 2014.

While Universal Bearings, LLC already employs some 250 workers at a plant in Bremen’s backyard, Universal’s parent company is headquartered halfway across the world—in South Korea.

It comes as no surprise that several possible sites for a new plant were considered.

“We did look around. Our Hanwah sister company just had a new facility open up in Monroe, Michigan, you know, we looked around a couple of different places, but when we started putting everything together, it was like, you know, this is where the company grew up,” said Universal Bearings’ David Ketcham.

In the final analysis, Universal decided that the plant would lie right where the company’s loyalties have—since its founding about 1960.

“A lot of people from Marshall County work here. We’ve got some very senior people that are 40 years plus,” said Ketcham.

There’s a lot of reasons to be very happy about this expansion,” added Chavez, “can't say enough about the company.”

A wide variety of government incentives were used to make sure the new plant was built in Bremen. The city granted a 10 year property tax abatement while Indiana’s Economic Development Corporation offered up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits and $85,000 in job training grants.

Universal Bearings, LLC makes needles and needle bearings for the auto industry. They are typically used in engines, transmissions, and in adjustable seat mechanisms.

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