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Ohio metal fabricator's HQ move to Indiana to add 44 jobs by 2018

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 10:06 am

An Ohio sheet-metal maker is relocating its headquarters to northeast Indiana.

Koester Metals on Wednesday announced plans to relocate its headquarters from Defiance, Ohio, to Fremont, creating up to 44 jobs by 2018, according to a news release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

The company will invest $2.7 million to move its headquarters and operations to its existing 130,000-square-foot facility in Fremont that it began leasing in 2009. KMI also plans to relocate fabricating equipment from Ohio and update the Steuben County facility's software and technology. The company, which employs 16 Hoosiers in Fremont, plans to begin hiring additional welders, laser operators and brake press operators in April.

"We are greatly looking forward to this move," said Matthew Koester, operations manager of KMI, in the news release. "While we are blessed to have many 20- and 30-year employees planning to make the move with us, we look to continue growing our family with continued development of the best and brightest workforce available. The state of Indiana and local governments were very important in helping KMI make the decision to move our business."

Founded in 1975 in Defiance, KMI produces sheet metal fabrications and enclosures for the aerospace, original equipment manufacturing, testing equipment and energy industries.

The IEDC offered KMI up to $240,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of Fremont will consider additional tax abatement at the request of the Steuben County Economic Development Corporation.

KMI is the latest company to relocate operations to the Hoosier State. Earlier this month, Lake Area Designs, a wooden furniture maker for the RV industry, announced plans to invest $1.5 million to move its operations from Sturgis, Mich., to LaGrange, creating up to 34 jobs.