The Economic Development Perspective
Marshall County Economic
Get to Know Marshall County Businesses - Kessler Crane
Corporate Headquarters: Plymouth
Date Established: 2003
Industrial Sector: Manufacturing
Primary Product: Sliders and motion control tools for filmmakers and photographers
Number of Employees: 35
As a leader in motion control technology for the film industry, you might expect to find a business such as Kessler Crane only in Hollywood. But Marshall County's Midwest mentality makes it easy to find trained, hardworking employees here for Kessler Crane's in-house machining. The business began out of Eric Kessler's home in Lake of the Woods in 2003 and located to Plymouth in 2005 where it has been headquartered ever since. Kessler Crane's entrepreneurial roots have grown to become one of Marshall County's most unique manufacturers, developing products that support and move cameras. Today, Kessler Crane manufactures over 100 different types of products that serve everyone from independent filmmakers to major Hollywood studios.
What sets the business apart from others in the industry is that Kessler Crane is diverse and makes multiple products across product lines, while most competitors focus on one kind of product. For example, Kessler Crane produces jibs, which lift the camera up or down; sliders, which move it side to side; and motion control technology, which is computer-controlled movement of the camera. Kessler Crane's motion control products include kOS software, which allows the user to program camera movements as well as the hardware that moves the camera. Recently, the company launched
, which provides solutions for 360 and 3D product photography for e-commerce. This technology gives online retailers the ability to offer customers a 360-degree view of their product.
Kessler Crane to Offer Services to Marshall County Businesses
Kessler Crane wants to expand their services to local businesses, including their team of electronic and mechanical engineers, precision machine shop, assembly teams, in-house production studio, and marketing teams. Just a few examples of the services they offer are creating rapid prototypes and full production machining, marketing services with their video production team and in-house studio, and 360/3D product photography. Kessler Crane is excited to offer these services to the Marshall County community and encourages local businesses to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 936-3341 to learn more.
Regional Cities is Just the Beginning for North Central Indiana
Our region is launching a plan that will serve as the next step in growing our area through the Regional Cities Initiative. On February 7th, the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership unveiled its Regional Economic Development Strategy. It was created by the Regional Development Authority over the course of two years thanks to the hard work of several committees which developed the goals and strategies of the plan. The plan outlines five key goals that will drive regional economic growth: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining talent, growing successful businesses, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, and helping minority and diverse businesses to grow. These initiatives will raise our per capita personal income and make our region competitive on a global level. What began as an effort to earn $42 million in Regional Cities funding has grown to a region committed to long-term planning and collaboration.
Marshall County Planning Branding Campaign
Attracting residents and businesses is vital for the continued growth of our community. The Marshall County Commissioners recognize this need and have decided to invest in a County marketing campaign. The County hired Big Idea Company out of Mishawaka to develop the Marshall County branding campaign. Big Idea is a full-service marketing agency with a proven track record for success, having produced a marketing video that helped our region win Regional Cities funding in 2016. Three focus groups have been held with county leadership in Bremen, Culver, and Ancilla College. On February 1st, members from the focus groups reconvened to review proposed slogans, logos, and advertisements. This feedback is vital in capturing what makes Marshall County unique to attract residents and businesses. We will keep you informed on Marshall County's branding efforts as work continues.
PLC Training Offered to Marshall County Workers
Training is one of the biggest needs for incumbent workers according to Marshall County employers, as identified through recent employer interviews on workforce development issues. That is why we have worked with the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership to provide the Introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) course for incumbent workers in Marshall County. The five-day workshop began on February 7th and is aimed at giving workers the basic skills and knowledge they need to work with PLCs found in most manufacturing plants. Marshall County employers enrolling workers in the program include RBC Bearings, CTE Solutions, Plymouth Foundry, and Nisco. Additional training for Marshall County businesses can be held as needed, please contact MCEDC if you are interested. See the PLC Training Flyer for more information.
Progress Across Marshall County
Argos Manufacturing Center Update
After a few weeks of winter, work on the Argos Manufacturing Center is well underway. The completed structure will consist of two pre-cast panel walls, two structural steel walls, a roof, and windows. Cement foundations were poured in January to set walls for the building. Panel insulated pre-cast walls arrived and were installed shortly after. The structural steel walls arrived in February and are being put up. Now that the building is under construction, the building is beginning to generate interest in companies looking to quickly expand in Indiana. The project is on track to be substantially complete by May 2018.
Culver Installs Permanent Sign in Town Park
If you visited Culver Town Park since the Winter Fest, you've probably noticed the large, eye-catching sign spelling out Culver's name on the pedestrian bridge. A temporary sign was installed in this location last summer as a "light, quick, and cheap" Stellar project that would serve as an art piece and encourage park visitors to take photos and share them on social media. In October, the Town fundraised over $2,500, which was matched by Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, to erect a permanent version of the sign made from steel instead of wood. The new sign was unveiled at the Culver Winter Fest on February 10th.
Plymouth's River Gate South Footbridge Improves Quality of Place
In a demonstration of true public/private partnership, Plymouth's River Gate South pedestrian bridge has been set in place. The new footbridge is a $300,000 capital investment that crosses the Yellow River. It connects the upcoming River Gate South apartments with River Park Square, beautifying the downtown and improving walkability. On February 1st, residents and local officials gathered to watch the installation, which was completed in just over an hour.
Building developer, Scott Sivan will be dedicating the finished bridge to the City once River Gate South is complete, allowing it to become a public asset.
River Gate South broke ground earlier this summer and is expected to be completed and ready for tenants by June 2018. Thanks to everyone who has contributed effort and funding to bring this quality-of-place-enhancing project to life, including the City of Plymouth, Plymouth Park & Recreation Department, Plymouth Board of Public Works, NIPSCO, Van Vactor Farms, Scott Sivan, the Regional Development Authority, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
Invest in Marshall County
The Marshall County EDC would like to say thank you for your commitment in supporting the "Invest in Marshall County" campaign. The private/public partnership was launched in 2015 to increase private sector support for economic development.
New investors pledging funds to the campaign and partnering with MCEDC include:
- Abonmarche Consultants, Inc.
- Troyer Group
- American Containers, Inc.
- Anco Office Products (In Kind)
- AK Industries, Inc.
Returning investors include:
- Marshall County
- Town of Argos
- Town of Bourbon
- Town of Bremen
- Town of Culver
- Town of LaPaz
- City of Plymouth
- Michiana Contracting, Inc.
- Easterday Houin, LLP
- Viking Paper Corporation
- Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation
- Faulkner Fabricating, Inc.
- Hoosier Racing Tire
- Plymouth Foundry
- Elkay Wood Products Company
- Marshall County Rural Electric Membership Corporation
- Zentis Food Solutions North America, LLC
- Graphix Unlimited, Inc. (In Kind)
- Applegate & Company (In Kind)
- Wiers International Trucks, Inc.
Thank you, together we will strengthen and grow Marshall County's economy.