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HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A nonprofit Catholic publisher in Huntington is expanding its services online. Our Sunday Visitor Inc. announced this week it will launch an online Catholic news service, OSV News, beginning in January.

OSV, which publishes weekly and monthly publications, as well as trade books and parish publications throughout the country, says the new service will replace the existing Catholic News Service, which is set to shut down at the end of the year.

OSV Publisher Scott Richert says when the decision to end Catholic News Service was announced, he started talks with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to acquire the rights to the platform that CNS uses to produce and distribute its content.

“Current subscribers to CNS who sign up for OSV News before the end of the year will have a seamless experience as CNS closes its domestic news service on December 31 and OSV News launches on the same site the very next day,” Richert said in written remarks.

OSV says the service will provide national and international news, editorials, commentary and features daily, along with a library of OSV’s periodicals and websites.

The nonprofit will also acquire all of the digital archives owned by CNS, as well as the rights to existing and future content from CNS Rome.

“The digital archives of CNS are of great importance, both historically and as background for Catholic journalists working today,” Richert said. “It is essential that they remain available on the same platform that thousands of Catholic media professionals use every day.”

OSB says subscription pricing for the service will be announced in September.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Michigan-based Teijin Automotive Technologies will Thursday break ground on a $110 million expansion at its manufacturing plant in Huntington. The automotive components manufacturer says the project will add 164,000 square feet of space and create up to 225 jobs over the next several years.

The company currently has a 350,000-square-foot facility in addition to a 32,000-square-foot service center in Huntington. The new addition will accommodate a new topcoat line and assembly capabilities.

Teijin Automotive Technologies was formerly known as Continental Structural Plastics. The company makes its own composite materials and uses them to manufacture components for the automotive, marine, heavy truck and industrial markets.

The company currently employs nearly 600 in Huntington and expects that number to grow to more than 800 in 2025.

Teijin also has a facility in the Allen County town of Grabill in addition to locations in Louisiana, Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Portugal, China and Japan.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Huntington-based manufacturer of conveyor systems and material handling equipment has broken ground on a nearly $5 million expansion. Shuttleworth says the project will add 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space and create 20 jobs by the end of 2024.

The expansion is at one of Shuttleworth’s three facilities in Huntington. The company designs and produces material handling and product packaging line equipment for a variety of markets, including automotive, e-commerce and healthcare.

Ken Tinnell, vice president and general manager of Shuttleworth, says the expansion will allow the company to efficiently accommodate the larger automation systems it currently manufactures and also provide opportunities for further growth.

“The expansion was necessary because of years of sustained growth of our Slip-Torque conveyor systems, automated devices, and aftermarket services,” Matt Reich, manufacturing manager of Shuttleworth, said in written remarks. “Operating under one roof will help facilitate process improvements to develop workflow and operational efficiencies while providing opportunities for improved safety measures.”

The project is slated for completion this fall.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Huntington-based nonprofit is part of a growing movement to provide better pay for individuals with developmental disabilities. Pathfinder Services says it has requested to be withdrawn from future 14(c) certifications through the U.S. Department of Labor, which allow employers to pay wages less than the federal minimum wage to workers with disabilities for the work they perform. Pathfinder Chief Executive Officer Danielle Tips says the change has been several years in the making for the nonprofit.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Tips said the organization has prioritized competitive, integrative employment for people with disabilities.

“Our goal is for individuals to live their best life and that means being part of the community, a part of society and being in a workshop environment is just a training facility and it should not be their long-term goal, but a training facility that helps them learn the skills and learn the trade that prepares them for community employment,” said Tips. 

Among the many services for people with disabilities, Pathfinder contracts with area companies through its Outsource Manufacturing division to provide training and work experience. Under the 14(c) certification, those workers would be paid based on their production output as they learn the skills they need to succeed.

“Over the course of the last few years, that has improved to the point where even with the sub-minimum wage, their production has increased so much that they were close to that minimum wage threshold anyways,” said Tips. “[We] have gotten to the point…that we’ve been busy enough that we were able to go ahead and say, ‘You know what, we don’t need to utilize that sub-minimum wage anymore and we’re going to make that decision and that commitment to pay only minimum wage going forward.'”

Tips says its workforce program is a stepping stone for people with disabilities to find meaningful employment in their communities.

“Our individuals are learning the skills that they need in a safe environment with individuals that they feel comfortable with. They’re able to, risk-free if you will, come in, learn the social skills – we call them soft skills – and then they’re able to try out those skills in another environment,” she said. “[We’re] helping them to learn what their personal interests are and what does that look like? Is that in the healthcare industry? Is that in the manufacturing industry? We’re fortunate right now that our job market has a lot of availability, but it’s really helping them try those skills and help them develop some of the training and then step out from there.”

The Association of People Supporting Employment First says more and more nonprofits are phasing out the use of sub-minimum wage and Tips adds the shift to a more traditional minimum wage model in the disability world will continue that trend.

In addition to the employment services, Pathfinder provides a variety of other services such as its Early Head Start program. In February, the nonprofit cut the ribbon on an expansion of its Huntington campus, which included four new classrooms.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Chicago-based vegan food producer and restaurant has announced plans to relocate operations to Huntington County. Kitchen 17 says it will invest more than $1 million to acquire and renovate the historic Herald Press building in Huntington and create up to 64 jobs by the end of 2024.

The company was founded in 2013 by sisters Jennie and Lorry Plasterer, who are natives of Huntington. The Kitchen 17 restaurant in Chicago specializes in vegan pizzas and comfort food. Jennie Plasterer says she pivoted the company during the pandemic by turning the restaurant into a full-fledged production facility.

The company says the 25,000-square-foot building will house its headquarters, as well as food production, packaging and distribution operations. The building will include a prep kitchen, retail tasting room, urban rooftop farming and restaurant event space, as well as a photo and video production studio for its marketing team.

“This is home. We went to big cities for different opportunities and had a great time doing so,” Plasterer said. “When the pandemic hit, not only did we find an opportunity to restructure our lives and our businesses, but at the same time, expansion became necessary, and we couldn’t think of a better place than Huntington. I’ve gotten to fully partner with my sister and my husband, in my hometown, while putting in the first plant-based restaurant here. It’s a very special moment for us.”  

The company says the Kitchen 17 restaurant in Chicago will remain in business as production operations move to Huntington. The company employs 20 in Illinois and plans to begin hiring this summer for a variety of positions in Huntington.

“We’re proud and excited to welcome Kitchen 17 and Smiley Face Media to Huntington,” said Huntington Mayor Richard Strick. “Their ambition, creativity and follow-through will add to the talent mix Huntington has been cultivating, and we are eager to see what new opportunities arise as the project moves forward.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Kitchen 17 up to $565,000 in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired for the new jobs. The city of Huntington has approved additional incentives as well.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Huntington University Board of Trustees has approved a more than $13 million project to expand the Merillat Complex and Fieldhouse. Plans include adding a third performance gym, updating Platt Arena, along with building new training and wellness spaces.

University President Dr. Sherilyn Emberton says the PLEX project was expanded from an original $4.6 million investment. She says the university’s athletic program has grown to nearly 300 student-athletes competing in 18 NAIA programs.

“Through extended conversations with University athletic staff and students, alumni and community members, it became clear the importance of this project to many of our constituents,” Emberton said in a news release. “The expansion of the existing health and wellness facility meets current as well as anticipates future needs for students at Huntington University.”

The university did not provide an estimated time frame for construction.

Emberton says the project is the largest campus expansion project since the completion of Dowden Science Hall in 2005.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Huntington-based Northeast Indiana Bancorp is reporting record first quarter net income of $1.9 million, up from just over $1 million during the same period last year. The parent of First Federal Savings Bank says it also saw an increase in total assets, loans and deposits during the quarter.

In addition to the record earnings, the bank says it continues to provide assistance to small businesses and nonprofits throughout the region through the Paycheck Protection Program. With this year’s iteration of the SBA’s program, the bank says it has helped more than 300 clients secure about $25 million in funding during the first quarter.

The bank adds it continues to help clients with forgiveness applications for PPP loans they received last year.

You can connect to the full earnings report by clicking here.

ROANOKE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – California-based Waterfield Enterprises has acquired the former American Specialty Insurance building complex in Roanoke. Financial details were not disclosed, but the company says it will relocate its headquarters from Los Angeles to the newly-acquired complex in the Huntington County town.

The historic buildings include about 24,000 square feet. Waterfield says it will remodel the street level into expanded retail and will maintain the second level for office space.

“We are very pleased to be a permanent part of the Roanoke community,” says Richard Waterfield, president of Waterfield Enterprises. “During the many years I spent in New York and LA I always thought of Indiana, where I was born and raised, as home. My wife and I are happy to be back raising our three young children amidst legendary Midwestern Values and Hoosier Hospitality. Roanoke is a beautiful example of both, complete with Joseph Decuis and Rex’s Barbershop. It is the quintessential American small town.”

Waterfield is a global holding company that serves more than 300 organizations in banking, finance, and insurance, among others. The company did not disclose a timeline for its relocation.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Huntington University is reporting for the first time in school history an enrollment above 1,400 students. The school says 1,402 students are enrolled this year, up from 1,300 in 2016. 

“We are thrilled that our enrollment has reached the 1,400 mark. We celebrate every student because it’s a life and they are a future leader, but surpassing a marker like 1,400 is a special moment for the campus community,” said Daniel Solms, vice president for enrollment management and marketing.

The university is also reporting its eighth consecutive year of more U.S. minority student enrollment, which is now 16% of the university’s total student enrollment. 

“We are so excited about the opportunity to provide a record number of students with access to Christian higher education at Huntington University,” said Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, president. “Our entire campus community, at all three geographic locations, worked diligently through the pandemic recess to offer the residential educational experience for our students in fall of 2020.  Growing our institution remains a key pillar of our strategic plan, Faith Forward 2022.”

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Michigan-based automotive components manufacturer with a presence in Indiana is detailing its plan to resume production. Continental Structural Plastics says it has implemented new safety protocols at its facilities in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, OSHA and the World Health Organization.

Among its many facilities throughout the world, CSP has facilities in Huntington and Grabill. 

The new protocols include regular cleaning and disinfecting of all areas in each facility, daily self-health screenings at the beginning of each shift, staggered shifts and breaks, social distancing in break and kitchen areas, wearing masks and making hand sanitizer available throughout each facility.

CSP says it will also alter work spaces where possible to facilitate social distancing.

“We are taking a very balanced approach to getting back to business while at the same time ensuring our operations are as safe as possible for our employees,” said Steve Rooney, chief executive officer of CSP. “We want our employees and their families to be assured that it is safe to return to work, and that our efforts to protect them will be on-going, so long as the COVID-19 virus remains a threat.”

CSP says all of its employees returning to work will be trained in the new protocols. The company’s Corporate Environmental Health and Safety division will also conduct regular audits to make sure the protocols are being followed consistently. 

The company did not provide any potential dates for the facilities to reopen.