Steel box maker RACO has moved a warehouse from South Holland to South Bend.
The South Bend-based company, which is a division of electronics maker Hubbell Inc., has spent about $1.5 million to move out of Cook County and into a new business park in Northern Indiana. RACO expects to employ 77 workers in the new distribution center.
Indiana has been pursuing an ongoing initiative over the last several years to recruit businesses that are fed up with high taxes and the unfunded pension liabilities in Illinois. The state has been mostly successful at luring manufacturing and logistics companies in south Cook County and the south suburbs across state lines.
"Most companies new to Northwest Indiana migrate from South Cook and Will Counties, but existing Northwest Indiana firms rarely move across the state line to Illinois," a recent NAI Hiffman commercial real estate report noted.
Gov. Mike Pence planned to join RACO executives for a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday at the newly renovated 105,000-square-foot space in the Ameriplex business park.
RACO makes steel electric junction boxes, and currently employs 220 workers in St. Joseph County. The 85-year-old business can make up to 1 million steel outlets, switch and junction boxes, and covers per day. Its new warehouse will distribute the products it sells both nationally and internationally.
The company looked at several locations when deciding where to relocate its warehouse, and compared tax rates, workers' compensation expenses, freight costs and incentives. The business ultimately decided Indiana was a business-friendly choice, said Chris Hildrebrand, RACO's vice president and general manager.
Indiana offered the company up to $650,000 in tax breaks and training grants.