The Huntington County United Economic Development Corp. (HCUED) recently reported on its website that the May 2022 unemployment rate for Huntington County was 2.1 percent.

It is a slight reduction from April’s 2.2 percent, and it is slightly lower than the state-wide unemployment rate of 2.5 percent for the month covering April 11 through May 10.

Huntington City Council Member Seth Marshall reported to the Huntington City Council last week about the recent HCUED Board meeting. Executive Director, Mark Wickersham, with HCUED, reported to the Huntington County Council Monday evening. Both men said the same thing, that there are seven projects totaling $115 million that will bring 375 new jobs, while keeping 648 current jobs.

Investing and reinvesting in local businesses helps create and retain jobs for citizens. Marshall also told the Huntington Public Works and Safety Board that the Shuttleworth and Ecolab expansions are being completed.

According to a recent Inside Indiana Business report, “Shuttleworth, a Huntington-based manufacturer of conveyor systems and material handling equipment has broken ground on a nearly $5 million expansion, a project which will add 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space and create 20 jobs by the end of 2024.”

The expansion will connect with the existing facility and provide an additional 55,000+ square feet to the manufacturing area by the fall of 2022, according to a Shuttleworth press release. It is a $4.67 million project that will create 20 new direct jobs by the end of 2024 to add to the 85 employees it has now. Shuttleworth first moved operations in 1969 to its current facility on Commercial Road in Huntington.

The hygiene product manufacturer Ecolab on East Tipton Street in Huntington broke ground on a new expansion project in October 2021, and the company’s plans for the Huntington location include the creation of 24 new jobs.

EcoLab expansion involves installing new equipment at the plant on Tipton Street, according to a press release and previous Herald-Press reports. Meanwhile, they’re also increasing the size of the warehouse on Commercial Road. The expansions are expected to be completed early next year.

The Huntington County Council approved eight business tax abatements on Monday, presented by Wickersham. The businesses are expected to reinvest in their companies such as new equipment, as well as add more jobs in return for the abatements, according to Wickersham’s presentation. The companies are Doc’s Crane and Rigging, Inc., three abatements for Gladieux Energy LLC, Heartland REMC, two abatements for Intri-cut Tool Co. LLC, and Mitchell S Mounsey.

While some tax abatement programs include other sectors of the community, those in Huntington County only involve economic revitalization areas (ERAs) that are zoned light or heavy industries, Wickersham said. It does not include residential, commercial and agricultural areas, and the ERA doesn’t have an expiration date.

Wickersham added that if the council wanted to add another area, it needs to vote on it.

The county council also approved reauthorization of its participation in the Regional Development Authority (RDA). It doesn’t require taxpayer impact or expense other than a matching grant program, it lasts eight years ending in 2023 and four county projects are expected to be reviewed by the Authority.

However, the intersection at N200 and State Road 9 at the Progress Drive project does expect to impact the area by getting turning lanes.

HCUED recently sold 130 acres to Teijen Automotive Technologies to be known as 2025 Progress Drive and expects to bring 110 jobs when operations begin in April 2024 and topping off at 200 at full employment by 2024. It is the largest investment in Huntington County at $110 million, according to the HCUED website.
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