Waupaca adding up to 160 foundry jobs

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Gov. Mitch Daniels didn’t mind the mild roar of foundry machines behind him in mid-October as he joined executives of ThyssenKrupp Waupaca to deliver news the company will expand its Tell City foundry operations.

The company will add 160 new jobs by the end of 2012.

Executives said the company will invest $36.5 million in equipment upgrades to expand the capacity at its 480,000-square-foot Tell City plant.

The announcement is the latest move in a comeback for the company that laid off workers during the recession. Waupaca announced earlier this year that it would grow its work force to meet added demand for its castings used in the automotive, agriculture and commercial-vehicle markets. It also said it would switch from a 12-hour to an eight-hour work schedule.

Daniels credited the hard work and commitment to excellence of the foundry’s work force, many of whom assembled for the announcement, for giving the state an edge in bringing the new jobs to Indiana.

Daniels said Indiana is leading the nation in job growth, at 3.5 times the national average, and said Waupaca’s decision is an endorsement of the benefits the state offers companies.

“This vote of confidence from a world-class company is further evidence that our competitive advantage over other states is growing,” said Daniels, who made the announcement at the foundry before an audience of local elected and economic-development officials and plant staff.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered ThyssenKrupp Waupaca Inc. up to $1.55 million in performance-based tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans.