Pence, company officials confirm Jaeger-Unitek expansion in LaPorte

2014-04-16T13:00:00Z 2014-04-16T19:53:08Z Pence, company officials confirm Jaeger-Unitek expansion in LaPorteTimes Staff nwitimes.com
April 16, 2014 1:00 pm  • 

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence joined executives from the Jager Group on Wednesday in Hanover, Germany, to announce the company’s plans to expand operations of its subsidiary, Jaeger-Unitek Sealing Solutions, in LaPorte.

The move is expected to create up to 52 new jobs by 2016.

The company announced plans for future growth earlier this month, but it was not clear if the move would affect the LaPorte location.

“The automotive industry is in high gear in the Hoosier State,” Pence said. “After visiting Jaeger-Unitek in La Porte earlier this month, it was a privilege to hear directly from Jager Group’s leadership in Germany that their next growth plans are on the horizon.”

The extrusion manufacturer will invest $4.5 million to lease, renovate and equip a 137,000-square-foot facility at 115 Koomler Drive in LaPorte, increasing operational space with the new facility by 50,000 square feet. The facility, which will be operational by August, will allow the company to add three additional thermoplastic extrusion lines and provide space for further expansion of its rubber and plastic extrusion capabilities.

Jaeger-Unitek, which specializes in rubber extrusion components used in window, door and sunroof assemblies for the automotive industry, employs about 75 full-time Indiana associates as part of the Jager Group’s more than 1,000 employees across five countries. Jaeger-United is already recruiting, hiring and training for new engineering, finance, production and maintenance positions.

“We believe Indiana is the best place for this investment. The state is much stronger logistically and from an infrastructure point of view than many other parts of the country,” said Marius Jager, managing director of the Jager Group. “We look forward to supporting Jaeger-Unitek as it continues to grow.”

Founded in 2006 as UniTek Sealing Solutions, Germany’s Jager Group bought the company in 2010. The company soon announced plans to grow the LaPorte operations, doubling its employment and investing more than $3 million to add rubber and thermoplastic injection molding, cryogenic deflashing and robotic inspection.

Jaeger-Unitek serves Asian, European and American automakers, specializing in rubber and plastic extruded and injection molded components used in window, door and sunroof assemblies. The company’s sales have tripled since 2010 and by the end of 2016 are expected to exceed $20 million.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Jaeger-Unitek Sealing Solutions Inc. up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits 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 city of LaPorte approved additional incentives at the request of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corp. earlier this month.

“The city of LaPorte is thrilled to be able to celebrate the announcement of Jaeger’s expansion plans within our community. This project highlights the importance of local retention and expansion efforts and identifies the accomplishments that can be achieved through the partnerships that exist between local and state governments and our business community,” LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo said. “Jaeger, and the Jager family especially, should be commended for their commitment to La Porte and the state of Indiana despite strong interest from other states.”

Pence is leading a job-hunting trip to Germany this week to meet with German companies with operations in Indiana, like the Jager Group, and prospective companies considering future investments in the state.

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