Development will soon begin on Washington's east side. Thursday afternoon Washington and Daviess County officials announced the first investment in the area from Japan, with M & C Tech Indiana planning to locate on CR 200E.
Mayor Joe Wellman said the business will be located on the north side of the railroad tracks near the newly-constructed shell building. A joint venture between Moriroku Chemicals and Chubu Chemicals, the plant will produce plastic parts for the automotive industry. While M & C is a new business venture, Wellman said it has sister companies already in the Midwest.
The company is investing $4.6 million to build a 40,000-square foot factory on 6.2 acres. The company will initially hire 25 associates, with plans to potentially increase that employment to at least 70. The building is being designed and constructed by Force Construction, which hosted the luncheon. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, Force is a first-time partner with Moriroku Group.
Construction of the building is expected to begin this month with completion next summer.
"They told us to bring the shovels and they'd get started today," said Wellman with a chuckle. "They plan to get started pretty quick and will be announcing hiring dates in the future."
Wellman, who traveled to Japan in February to meet with several potential businesses, first called on Moriroku's Tokyo headquarters to personally invite their officials to locate in Washington/Daviess County.
"I stressed to them the new opportunities our community can now provide them with land, labor and logistics thanks to the opening of I-69, and our strategic location at Exit 62 between Bloomington and Evansville," said Wellman. "This is the first Japanese factory to locate along Indiana's new I-69 segment and we are thrilled they have chosen our location."
After Wellman's return from Japan, several visits to the area were made by site selection teams composed of officials from both Japanese companies.
"We have worked diligently to secure this first Japanese investment with the officials of both Japanese joint venture partners, and with the representatives of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in Indianapolis and Tokyo," said Daviess County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Ron Arnold. "We think this initial investment will send a clear message in Japan and the U.S. that Washington and Daviess County are open and ready for more new business."
Also in attendance was the president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Jim Schellinger.
“As the Crossroads of America, roads mean jobs here in Indiana. While Indiana makes an historic investment into finishing I-69, this interstate is already helping drive employers from around the world to create new jobs here at home," said Schellinger. "Indiana is a global destination for jobs."
Schellinger said in the last 13 years, more than 45 Japanese companies like M&C Tech Indiana have committed to creating more than 6,400 new jobs for Hoosiers.
"Indiana is proud to be the home of a thriving, global economy, and days like today with M&C Tech Indiana will help propel Indiana's economy forward as we enter our third century," he said.
Masa Kinoshita, future president of M&C Tech Indiana Corporation, said he has a goal for the community.
“My goal for this new company is to have as many years as our head office in Japan, and we make it our challenge to be connected to the development of the City of Washington and Daviess County," said Kinoshita.
Attracting new businesses like M & C has been a joint-effort between the City of Washington, Daviess County Economic Development Foundation and Daviess County.
Incentives offered to M & C include abatement on building and equipment, off-site infrastructure improvements and training dollars.