Inside INdiana Business

Boat maker invests $12 million in northern Indiana

NEW PARIS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Elkhart County-based boat maker Smoker Craft Inc. has announced plans to invest $12 million to expand operations and add up to 100 jobs by the end of 2024. The manufacturer, located in the town of New Paris, says it is constructing a 200,000-square-foot addition to its existing plant, which is expected to be fully operational by next April.

Smoker Craft says the expansion is the result of growing customer demand. The company employs 770 workers in Indiana. It is currently hiring for computer numerical control welding positions.

“This expansion will be used to increase efficiencies to the loading process and allow us to ship not only more boats to our dealers all over North America but raise the quality of the delivered product,” said Tim Jones, vice president of finance for Smoker Craft. “The warehouse portion of the project is designed to free up manufacturing space in all three of our product lines: aluminum fishing boats, pontoon boats and fiberglass deck boats.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has committed up to $800,000 in various tax credits based on the Smoker Craft’s job creation plans, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The Elkhart County Council has approved additional incentives.

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