Universal Bearings Expansionby Amy Wenger on May 25, 2014
Sometimes, when a business announces plans for expansion, there are other factors to consider beyond the addition of bricks and mortar. When that expansion brightens the outlook for job growth, it becomes a reason to celebrate.
Such is the case when the Bremen community recently learned of a project from Universal Bearings, LLC to invest more than $39 million toward the construction of a new facility. The company, which was founded in Bremen in 1959, is now a subsidiary of the South Korea based Hanwha Group. The existing Bremen location currently oversees the manufacture of loose needle and needle bearings, which are then distributed primarily to manufacturers within the auto industry. The parts are then utilized in adjustable seat mechanisms, engines, and transmissions.
The addition will allow for further production of needle bearings and induction heat treated products. The facility is expected to be fully operational within the next three years, and as the phases evolve, an additional 78 new job positions will be added to the workforce. Upon completion, the new building will encompass 100,000 square feet situated on the 13-acre complex. The first round of hiring workers, to add to their existing base of approximately 250 employees, will begin in October.
The latest developments for Universal Bearings, LLC received support on multiple fronts, including action from the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation and the Bremen Town Council, which offered additional tax abatements in light of the endeavor. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation also provided financial incentives, such as up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $85,000 in training grants. These grants are contingent upon the actual hiring of workers, so the funds will be disbursed upon the inclusion of new employees.
Among the nationally known corporations that Universal Bearings has had affiliations with, as well as awards and designations from, are Ford Motor Company and General Motors, the latter of which has given the local firm the Supplier Quality Excellence Award. Ford Motor Company has also given Universal Bearings, LLC its prestigious Q1 Quality Rating.