Midwest Aerospace Casting flew into Merrillville, where it opened a multimillion-dollar facility that's bringing scores of jobs to the AmeriPlex at the Crossroads business park.

The company, a subsidiary of NASA supplier Chicago Magnesium Casting, took over the former Fieldhouse in the business park along Broadway and between 93rd and 101st avenues. It invested $9 million into the facility, where it relocated from Illinois.

Midwest Aerospace is making castings for helicopters, jet fighters, jumbo transports and regional jets in Merrillville. Company president Bob Littlefield said the company already has created numerous jobs and may employ up to 180 workers at the site. It celebrated the opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

“In our town, we’ve proudly hosted companies specializing in various industries, from automotive components to essential parts,” Town Council President Rick Bella said. “However, today marks a special occasion as we embrace a company uniquely positioned to contribute material to construct F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.”

The company serves both military and commercial customers. It has more than 70 years of experience in the aerospace sector.

“We have a great customer base that has supported us through this transition, and I can’t be more thankful for the relationships that we’ve built,” Littlefield said.

Midwest Aerospace plans to be active in the community and joined the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce, which initially represented businesses in Merrillville and Crown Point but now bills itself as "Northwest Indiana's Chamber of Commerce."

“The Crossroads Chamber puts businesses first and (devotes) resources that foster growth in the community,” Littlefield said.

Crossroads Chamber President and CEO Deann Patena said Midwest  Aerospace was a welcome addition.

“Midwest  Aerospace Casting represents not only a significant investment in our region, but also a testament to innovation and ingenuity that defines our Midwest spirit,” Patena said.

The company did extensive renovations to a former indoor youth basketball facility off Interstate 65, turning it into a manufacturing operation.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for this beautiful facility,” Town Councilman Shawn Pettit said. “I can’t wait to see the expansion.”
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