COLUMBIA CITY â€” Don Wood, president of Columbia City-based 80/20 appeared before the Whitley Council Tuesday afternoon as the premier advocate for local expansion â€” with special emphasis on the local part.
â€śWeâ€™re not owned by some New York investment banking organization,â€ť said Wood, whose company received a tax abatement from the county for a sizable expansion.
â€śThis is our fourth expansion,â€ť Wood said. â€śAnd, at 93,000 square feet, which will double the size of what we have, weâ€™re opening up some new markets.â€ť
The company located on U.S. 30 east of Columbia City, designs and manufactures modular extruded aluminum framing for a variety of industrial and home uses.
According to a press release from the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation, Woodâ€™s company will invest more than $9.4 million for additional manufacturing space.
The expansion is also expected to create up to 110 new jobs by 2014.
An employer of more than 250 workers, 80/20 announced it plans to begin the hiring process for additional manufacturing and inventory management personnel later this spring.
â€śItâ€™s steadily grown over the years,â€ť said Alan Tio, president of EDC. â€śThis is a very significant expansion.â€ť
The growth of 80/20 was well-received by the council, which approved a tax abatement to coincide with $700,000 in state tax credits and grants.
â€ś80/20 is one of the best things thatâ€™s happened out there,â€ť said Councilman Bill Overdeer, referring to continued manufacturing growth east of Columbia City.
â€śWeâ€™re proud to have you here and hope we continue to have you here,â€ť said Council President Kim Wheeler.
Wood founded the company in 1989 and moved the firm from Fort Wayne to its current location near Columbia City.