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PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Plymouth Common Council has approved a tax abatement for South Bend-based Holladay Properties, which is building a $3.1 million distribution center in the Marshall County city. The building will serve as the northern Indiana headquarters for Carmel-based replacement window company Renewal by Andersen.

The Marshall County Economic Development Corp. says the 25,000-square-foot facility will also include sales and accounting offices.

The company plans to open the location with 85 employees, including all of the workers at its existing distribution center in South Bend, some from its corporate headquarters in Carmel, as well as an undisclosed number of new hires.

The MCEDC says the average wage for the employees in Plymouth will be above $25 per hour.

Construction on the facility is expected to begin in June with operations beginning in February 2023.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Plymouth Industrial Development Corp. has broken ground on a $2.5 million manufacturing facility. When complete, the 40,000-square-foot plant will serve as the new home for Plymouth Molding Group, an injection molding plastic manufacturer, doubling its current footprint.

The facility will be located inside an industrial park north of U.S. 30 in Plymouth. PIDCO says the project will retain 18 employees and PMG plans to hire eight more workers after relocating.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, PMG President Mike Lee said the company has outgrown its current facility, and the priority was to remain in Plymouth.

“[The project] is going to ensure that Plymouth Molding stays in the community for the foreseeable future, the next 15-25 years for sure, with no plans to move out of the community even beyond that,” Lee said. “We have good employees there and we’re looking to add more now.”

PMG produces plastic products for a variety of industries, including recreational vehicles, construction, and agriculture. As part of the project, the company is investing $600,000 in additional equipment to meet production demand.

Lee says while finding the necessary workforce has been a challenge, he believes the company will be able to find the employees it needs.

PMG is also preparing for future growth beyond the new square-footage.

“Right now, we’re in a 20,000-square-foot facility,” said Lee. “The building we’re building now with PIDCO is a 40,000-square-foot facility and the lot’s big enough that we have the potential to add another 40,000 square feet to that…which would allow us to basically quadruple in size from where we are now.”

The facility is expected to be complete in December.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The chief executive officer of Plymouth-based SIMBA Chain Inc. says the company’s recently-secured $25 million in Series A funding creates a “fantastic opportunity.” Joel Neidig says the blockchain technology startup, which was founded in 2017 and incubated at the University of Notre Dame, will use the funding to scale its development, sales and marketing teams with the goal of doubling its workforce to around 100 employees by the end of the year. “Over half of our company is located in Indiana, so that’s been pretty exciting to see this kind of [growth] in a company that’s a Midwest startup that’s delivering the latest technology,” said Neidig.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Neidig said the company’s growth can benefit others as well.

“We just count ourselves so fortunate to be in this kind of position, but we also think it’s a great opportunity to elevate a lot of those around us and we’ve already seen that even in some of our hires that were just getting into blockchain,” said Neidig. “We have so many startups that are using our platform, so we’ve really enabled, I think, multiple new businesses and more businesses will sprout out of SIMBA just by using our platform and building on it, they’ll create new business cases.”

SIMBA Chain has developed a platform that Neidig says simplifies blockchain for users by creating access to multiple different blockchains. The company’s technology is currently used by nearly every branch of the U.S. military, as well as Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and several higher education institutions.

With the funding round secured, Neidig says the company’s ultimate goal is to continue to grow revenue, but also the customer base.

“We want to remain very diverse in our customer base, from education and government enterprise, and continue to grow out new use cases that we can scale into that use our platform,” he said. “At the core of everything that we use is the SIMBA enterprise platform and even the education side is harnessing that power that has been built for years of development. It’s a multi-million-dollar platform that even people that are using the ‘freemium’ account are getting access to and it’s very powerful.”

The funding round was led by led by Valley Capital Partners in New York, with participation from Notre Dame Pit Road Fund, Elevate Ventures in Indianapolis, and Stanford Law School, as well as individuals affiliated with KKR, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and SpaceX, among several others.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Plymouth Common Council has approved incentives for DAC Enterprise LLC’s expansion in the Marshall County city. The overhead door manufacturer is planning to invest $730,000 to relocate to a new facility and add a small number of jobs.

The Marshall County Economic Development Corp. says the majority of the investment will be used for improvements to the once-idled building. The remainder will be used for new equipment to expand and improve manufacturing and distribution.

“These investments will set the stage for our planned improvement and expansion,” Dennis Cripe, president of DAC Enterprise, said in a news release. “We will continue with our top-quality production, but will deliver our doors in a more efficient manner.”

In addition to the four new jobs, the company says the investment will help retain 13 full-time employees. The company did not provide an estimated time for completion of the expansion.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Marshall County Economic Development Corp. has launched a website designed to attract military veterans to the county. The organization says the job portal will connect veterans with jobs in Marshall County that match their skill sets. 

The portal allows veterans to search for available jobs by military occupation classification, or simply review all jobs posted in the area. Veterans will also have the ability to post their resumes, which employers can review.

“Marshall County industry and businesses are consistently looking for well trained quality team members to grow,” Kevin Overmyer, president of the Marshall County Commissioners, said in a news release. “This effort will market these opportunities to veterans as they look for a place of employment in the civilian workforce. Combined with the work we are putting into improving the quality of life and housing in the county, we feel strongly that we can attract the type of talent local industry is looking to hire.”

The MCEDC says the website also includes quality of life information about the county, including links to communities, veteran benefits, healthcare, K-12 schools, and secondary education and training.

You can learn more about the portal by clicking here.

MARSHALL CO., Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Plymouth-based blockchain innovator SIMBA Chain Inc. has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research Phase I contract from the U.S. Air Force to help develop critical mission technology.

The Department of Defense says the funding will support SIMBA’s efforts to develop a solution that would allow the USAF to manufacture, test and deploy 3-D printed replacement parts for aircraft and other weaponry on the battlefield.

SIMBA says its use of blockchain would allow the military to have secure conversations to manufacture specific parts while in forward-operating areas during deployments around the world.

The technology company says it has teamed with Steel Modular, Inc. to offer the Air Force a self-contained, mobile 3D manufacturing facility housed in a repurposed shipping container.

The company says each container is equipped with the necessary components and resources to conduct 3D printing of replacement parts.

SIMBA Chain Chief Executive Officer Joel Neidig says the goal is to help the military design and produce replacement parts in days rather than months, responding faster in combat equipment needs.

“Our blockchain technology ensures data integrity and protects against tampering of intellectual property and communications,” said Neidig. “Sophisticated hackers are a very real threat and deploying SIMBA Chain globally and on a distributed, decentralized basis, provides an unhackable barrier and protects supply chain governance.”

Neidig says based on the success of the SBIR Phase I project, the company could be awarded a Phase II grant worth $1 million.

In January, SIMBA was also awarded an SBIR Phase II grant from the U.S. Navy.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Marshall County Economic Development Corp. has hired Laura Walls as its new president and chief executive officer. Walls formerly served as the executive director of the Carroll County EDC and worked with the city of Lafayette.

“We were impressed with Walls’s experience in economic development and particularly with a Stellar Community,” said Bill Davis, MCEDC chair. “She has demonstrated great leadership qualities with a great track record working in the state and national economic development arena.”

Walls also served as Main Street Manager for Downtown Lafayette and worked with the city of Delphi when it was named as a 2012 Stellar Community.

“I’m enthralled with the initiatives and priorities of the MCEDC. The board of directors and staff have been welcoming and ensuring this transition is as smooth as possible. The number one priority is working with existing industries as they continue to adjust during these uncertain times”, Walls said. 

Walls succeeds Jerry Chavez, who announced his resignation in September.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – A Chinese steel wheel manufacturer is planning to expand its operations in Plymouth. Jingu North America Corp. plans to invest more than $31 million to install new manufacturing equipment at its facility and create 80 jobs.

The Plymouth City Council has approved a 10-year tax abatement for the project. The company says it will install automated robotic equipment to produce steel wheels for cars and light trucks. The new jobs are expected to come with an average hourly wage of about $21.

“This large capital investment by Jingu North America Corporation to onshore their manufacturing and bring 80 high-paying positions to Plymouth is great news while many are still struggling with the economic effects of the pandemic,” said Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter. “I am happy and appreciate the council members approving the 10-year tax abatement for Jingu North America Corporation and welcome this new corporate citizen to the community.”

The council says Jingu will be located within the same facility as Indiana Wheel Co., a startup that has been manufacturing steel wheels at the Plymouth location for the RV industry for 18 months. The new manufacturing line for Jingu will be a separate, non-competing business.

“Marshall County Economic Development Corporation is excited about the additional high tech jobs that this investment will be bringing to the county,” said Jerry Chavez, president of Marshall County Economic Development Corp. “The fact that this operation and investment comes from abroad allows Marshall County to market the area and showcase that we are experienced in reshoring opportunities.”

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The president and chief executive officer of the Marshall County Economic Development Corp. has resigned. Jerry Chavez has served in the role since 2014, though the organization’s board of directors did not provide a reason for his departure.

During his tenure, Chavez helped lead numerous economic development efforts, including securing $161 million in industrial capital investment in 2019. The county also received the Stellar Communities designation from the state late last year.

“Marshall County Economic Development successes are recognized statewide as a result of a highly effective team approach representing all levels of government coupled with the execution of specific project-based strategies,” said Jim Condon, chair of the MCEDC Board. “I want to say thanks to Jerry for his tireless work, vision and assembly of a Marshall County team focused on accomplishment. As of today, MCEDC has recorded and anticipates over $120 MM in capital investment by industry with three months remaining in year 2020.”

The board says it is developing a two-part plan to not only find a successor for Chavez, but also ensure projects currently being managed by the MCEDC will continue on a successful path.

PLYMOUTH, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Officials in Marshall County will Tuesday break ground on a manufacturing facility in Plymouth. The Marshall County Economic Development Corp. says the 43,000-square-foot facility is designed to attract new business to the region.

Financial details of the investment in the Marshall County-Plymouth Manufacturing Center were not immediately disclosed. The MCEDC says it will be the third manufacturing center it has developed and, like the previous two, will be built with ease of expansion in mind.

The facility will be located on Jim Neu Drive in Plymouth. The MCEDC says construction is expected to begin in earnest soon after the groundbreaking ceremony, which will be attended by state and local officials.