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A fast-growing company that makes water soluble film plans to hire 60 workers this year and accelerate completion of its new $95 million Duneland facility in Portage.

MonoSol, a subsidiary of Japan-based Kuraray Co., makes the film for the widely popular Tide Pods and Cascade Pods, and has been experiencing double-digit growth every year.

Business is so robust MonoSol plans to start construction this year on phases II and III of its 300,000-square-foot state-of-the-art plant in the AmeriPlex at the Port business park in Portage, President and Chief Executive Officer P. Scott Bening said.

That plant had its grand opening in April.

The company originally planned to open a second production line by 2020, but now will ramp up to six production lines in an expansion project in Portage that will start this year. Construction had to be moved up by at least a year, because demand is so strong that MonoSol needs to add more production capacity as soon as possible for customers like global consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble, Bening said.

The project is expected to triple the plant's production volume.

"The whole site is about $100 million," he said. "It's significant for us, and it's significant for the Region."

Because of its growth, MonoSol is looking to add about 60 more employees over the course of the year, mostly at the new Duneland facility but also at its Merrillville headquarters, its original plant in Portage and its LaPorte factory.

"We're growing at a rapid pace on the strength of the business," said John Gornto, MonoSol vice president of human resources and risk management. "We need more employees in all of our functional areas."

MonoSol is mainly looking for production workers who would start out at $14.80 an hour and make $18.03 an hour after six months.

The company also needs salaried professionals, supervisors and managers, as well as several maintenance technicians who earn $27.93 an hour. Hourly workers are represented by Teamsters Local 142.

Jobs at MonoSol include benefits such as health insurance, use of private health clinics with minimal wait times, 401 (k) retirement plans and profit-sharing. MonoSol employees also get 8 hours of paid time off for volunteering and the chance to participate in the company's community campaigns, such as its Dissolve Hunger Program.

The soluble film maker seeks high school graduates with manufacturing experience. Workers put in 12-hour shifts, with four days on and four days off.

"We were a small organization that's been rapidly growing, so we seek fast-moving people with an entrepreneurial spirit who are comfortable wearing multiple hats," Gornto said. "We are looking for people with the flexibility to grow and change."

To apply or for more information, visit monosol.com.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.