Forging company expected to bring 240 jobs to Merrillville location

2011-08-22T17:15:00Z 2011-08-23T10:55:31Z Forging company expected to bring 240 jobs to Merrillville locationBy Matt Saltanovitz, (219) 933-4089

MERRILLVILLE | Gov. Mitch Daniels is expected to join executives from the Blue Island, Ill.-based company Modern Drop Forge on Tuesday to announce the company will be moving a major operation to Merrillville, resulting in about 240 new jobs.

On Monday afternoon, Merrillville Town Councilman Richard Hardaway confirmed that Modern Drop Forge will be coming to Merrillville, following the Town Council's passage of a 10-year tax abatement for the company in May.

Hopefully this will result in a significant economic boost for Merrillville," Hardaway said. "We've been looking for some time for some type of home run. But up until now we've only had nibbles."

He credited a team effort by elected and other town officials for attracting the company to Merrillville.

The governor will make his announcement at 8757 Colorado St., according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state's commerce department. That is just south of U.S. 30, where the company will be located. It offers custom forging, machinery and assembly services. It is expected to renovate the facility on the property.

The building previously was used by NSU Corp., which manufactured automotive parts.

Town Councilman Shawn Pettit in April said Modern Drop Forge would make a $7 million investment to improve the property if it decides to come to Merrillville.

Officials from the IEDC and Modern Drop Forge would not comment Monday. Pettit could not be reached for comment Monday.

Daniels said in June that representatives from IEDC have met with more than a dozen Illinois companies considering a move following the January increase in Illinois' corporate income tax rate to 7 percent from 4.8 percent.

The Republican governor has said he expects more Illinois companies will come to Indiana without IEDC assistance because they are attracted by the state's minimal government regulation on business and lower taxes.

In February, the IEDC and the Northwest Indiana Forum teamed up on a program to lure Illinois businesses to Indiana. The two organizations have bought ads in Chicago publications and billboard space as part of their "Illinoyed by higher taxes?" and "Feeling squeezed by taxes?" campaign.

Times staff writers Chas Reilly and Keith Benman and Times Statehouse Bureau Chief Dan Carden contributed to this report.

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