The Economic Development Perspective
Marshall County Economic
Get to Know Marshall County Businesses - Elkay Wood Products
Parent Company: Elkay
Corporate Headquarters: Oak Brook, IL
Company Established: 1920
Marshall County Location: Culver
Industrial Sector: Manufacturing/Consumer Goods
Primary Product: Kitchen Cabinetry
Number of Employees: 360
If you're shopping at Sears, Lowes, or Menards for your kitchen remodel, that cabinet you order is likely manufactured at Elkay's production facility in Culver. Since its start in 1920, Elkay has remained a family owned business and a leader in the sink and plumbing fixture industry. The company expanded to Culver 13 years ago, growing its wood cabinet manufacturing division and creating semi-custom cabinetry today under the Medallion, MasterCraft, Yorktowne, and DesignCraft brands. With recent expansions in 2015 and 2017, Elkay Wood Products is on the path to continued success.
Elkay's market-leading design and wide selection of beautiful finishes set their cabinet brands apart from others in the marketplace. Their cabinetry division has four manufacturing locations and a division office located in Waconia, MN. The Culver facility is in a key location for production and distribution, and currently manufactures 600 cabinets every day. With two recent expansions and approximately 360 employees, Culver is Elkay's largest cabinet manufacturing facility.
Most of Elkay Wood Products' employees live locally, with approximately 80% of the workforce living in Marshall and Starke Counties. Elkay has deep ties to the Culver community, and even served as a strategic partner in Culver's Stellar application, advocating for the Sand Hill Farm housing development. According to Plant Manager Earl Lilly, the people that make up the local community "are salt of the earth, genuinely good people. They make our company what it is." Elkay is continuing to grow and hire. Those interested in joining the Elkay family can visit www.elkay.com to learn more.
Marshall County Stellar Enters into the Home Stretch
Our community's interest and participation exceeded expectations when nearly one hundred leaders came together on July 26th to give feedback and enhance the county's Stellar application. This meeting shows significant community interest in Marshall County's plan. Ensuring community engagement is a key requirement for the Stellar evaluation team during the selection process. That means this strong turnout will improve Marshall County's chance at earning designation. The Marshall County Crossroads Stellar Initiative steering committee has generated ten projects that are ready for development and seven additional projects.
Event participants generated ideas for potential placemaking and health projects and helped identify project champions and volunteers to bring them to life. Marshall County is continuing to meet with leaders to develop, promote, and communicate its plans leading up to the final Regional Development Plan submission date on September 21st. Stellar designees will be announced in December. Thanks to all Marshall County leaders who participated in the event and continue to show their support for our "Stellar" community.
Plymouth Building Proves to be Asset in Attracting New Business
Plymouth and Marshall County continue to be preferred locations for business expansions by quickly attracting a new manufacturer to occupy the building left by a food processor in 2017. The new startup, Winona Building Products will produce high-quality, environmentally friendly insulation facings and vapor retarders. Winona will open with a product launch in November 2018. In the next few months, the company will invest approximately $9 million in equipment and building improvements. By the first quarter of 2019, Winona expects to have created 40 new jobs.
The manufacturer is also poised for continued growth in the Plymouth community. By 2022, Winona is expected to support upwards of four manufacturing lines and create 150 new jobs. Winona Building Products combines over 30 years of insulation facings knowledge through E&H Products, as well as over 40 years of manufacturing expertise through Winona Powder Coating. This expansion comes as a result of anticipated support from the Plymouth Common Council, Plymouth Redevelopment Commission, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and MCEDC.
Plymouth and Marshall County Dive into Major Groundbreakings
Seventeen entities and organizations
came together to develop a creative financing plan that will allow two unique projects to be constructed alongside one another. These efforts reflect a bold statement of investing in the City of Plymouth and Marshall County's future by the local community. The projects, the Aquatic Center and Early Childhood Learning Center, broke ground on July 18th with over one hundred attendees, representing county-wide support. These projects were developed as solution to community needs, and they will entice families to live in the community, attract other investment, and continue to improve the local economy.
The projects have been highly anticipated by the community, especially the Aquatic Center which is over seven years in the making. The Aquatic Center will include a competition pool and be a unique facility unlike anything else in the county. It is also expected to leverage additional destination project investment in the area.
The Early Childhood Learning Center will provide affordable, high quality pre-K education and childcare to encourage more parents to enter the job market. These will be the first projects in Marshall County funded by New Market Tax Credits. The unique financing structure also includes Regional Cities Initiative funding (Aquatic Center), TIF funds, and debt financing.
The Next Frontier in 3D Printing Takes Shape in Marshall County
Marshall County has all the pieces to turn powdered metal and a plan into a durable prototype or part. The inaugural Additive Manufacturing Regional Summit on July 26th demonstrated not only what's possible, but what's happening here. Eighty people attended the summit hosted by Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth. The event featured six speakers from local and midwestern companies as well as the University of Notre Dame and National Science Foundation. Representatives from Fortune 500 companies attended the event, as did local industry students and others interested in the burgeoning technology.
ITAMCO won a $1.6 million grant from America Makes Project in 2015. In April 2017, the company spun off Atlas 3D to commercialize the software needed for additive printing. The cloud-based software called Sunata can run simulations on which orientation and build meets the customer needs on cost, material and distortion. Presenters demonstrated the software platform at the summit, including how it can manage the challenges such as thermal distortion. Metal additive manufacturing welds layers of metal to create something and managing thermal fluctuations to prevent distortion is needed.The summit will become an annual event at other sites around the region as the industry continues to grow regionally.
Workforce Development Programing Alive and Well in Marshall County
Training the Next Generation of Business Leadership - Update
Training is one of the most important needs for incumbent workers according to Marshall County employers, as determined through MCEDC's recent employer interviews on workforce development issues. To address this need, Ancilla College and MCEDC partnered together last fall to work with local businesses and launch the Ancilla College Management and Leadership Training program. Since then, Ancilla has provided training for four local organizations including businesses and local governments. Southwire Company is the most recent business to go through the program with twelve leaders completing coursework, and more expected to register in the future. Ancilla's program is based on the world-renowned Blanchard training program. No other similar program is offered within the Marshall County region, making this a unique opportunity for businesses to access high-quality training at the local level. Ancilla's training is flexible and can be held on site to accommodate the needs of businesses and workers.
Technical Training Offered in Plymouth
Marshall County is dedicated to ensuring that its workers can benefit from a variety of training opportunities. That is why MCEDC continues to partner with the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership to provide the Introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) course for incumbent workers in Marshall County. The course will be held at in Plymouth beginning October 12th. It is aimed at giving workers the basic skills and knowledge they need to work with PLCs found in most manufacturing plants. The course was also offered at the start of 2018, with positive feedback from participating businesses including RBC Bearings, CTE Solutions, Plymouth Foundry, and Nisco. You can learn more and register for the workshop here.
Robotics Workshop - The Future is Now
Collaborative robots, or "cobots," can add value by boosting productivity and improving reliability for manufacturers. Industrial robots are designed to work with and among employees without the need for costly safety infrastructure. Marshall County employees and business leaders can learn more about this cobots at a free workshop, hosted by the Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Allied Automation. The event will be held in Plymouth on September 27th. This one of a kind workshop will include an educational seminar, cobot demonstrations, and a provided lunch. Space is limited to just 25 people, so register now.
Plymouth Students Explore Post-High School Pathways
Plymouth High School seniors kicked off the new school year by preparing for the next steps after graduation. The process, known as a transcript audit, gave students the chance to talk to guidance counselors to make sure they are on track for graduation and have a post-graduation plan in place. After meeting with counselors to discuss plans, students were able to speak one-on-one with representatives from area colleges, major employers, and the U.S. Military. The event was organized in accordance with the state-wide Graduation Pathways Program. This new initiative was established so all Hoosier students can graduate with a wide knowledge of career options, strong foundation of academic and technical skills, and demonstratable employability skills.
Made in Marshall County Coming Soon
One of the goals of the Pathways program is to familiarizing students with a variety of potential career paths. To support this goal, businesses and schools are coming together for the 3rd annual "Made in Marshall County" event. Hosted by the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, Ancilla College, and Marshall County schools, "Made in Marshall County" showcases local business in a tradeshow venue. Marshall County's manufacturing base has a long history of providing diverse goods and services to the area. This event will allow local businesses to feature products that are produced, assembled, and distributed locally. It will also give participating businesses the opportunity to connect with the next generation of workers, which is beneficial to both businesses and students. More information on this year's Made in Marshall County event will be coming soon.
Manufacturing Day Returns to Marshall County
Students throughout the county are also learning more about local manufacturers by getting an up-close look at their facilities and day-to-day operations through Manufacturing Day. This program is a national event in which manufacturers open their doors to showcase their businesses and foster interest in manufacturing careers. For the past three years, Bremen and Plymouth have led the way with numerous businesses hosting tours for local high school students. This year, with all Marshall County schools looking to connect students to businesses to meet Graduation Pathway Program requirements, even more communities are expected to participate. Stay tuned for more information on this year's event.
Progress Across Marshall County
Innovative Plan to Attract Residents to Argos
Argos is embarking upon a new initiative that is incredibly unique for a town of its size: a marketing campaign. The promotional effort will showcase Argos' small-town comforts, business-friendly practices, and unique amenities that can be found nowhere else. The first step in this plan, a new town logo, will be officially reveled at a reception on Wednesday, September 12th at 5:30 pm at Argos Town Hall, 201 W. Walnut Street. Residents, media, and anyone interested in Argos' rebranding is welcome to attend and learn more. The Town of Argos is working to ensure that its new marketing efforts tie into Argos Community Schools and the Argos Comprehensive Plan Taskforce to create consistent branding. The marketing plan will also include a brochure, a cohesive social media strategy, and consistent messaging to promote Argos' schools, events, and beyond.
Bourbon Builds Relationship with Businesses
A tradition that began five years ago where Bourbon businesses are shown appreciation through a luncheon for conducting business in the community continued Thursday, July 26th. The Bourbon Business Luncheon, sponsored by the Bourbon Town Council, is a testament to the value Bourbon places on private investment and contribution to the local economy. The annual meeting gives local business owners the chance to connect with Bourbon leadership and each other. There was a strong turnout with over 30 attendees and most of Bourbon's businesses were represented. Discussion included topics such as infrastructure improvements and the town's efforts to grow the population, which are goals within Bourbon's newly adopted Comprehensive Plan. This summer, a task force was formed to implement the plan. Ensuring that local businesses are aware of these goals will help with smooth implementation. The Bourbon Business Luncheon is a unique and valuable event that supports businesses and creates a consensus between the town and business community about important issues such as these.
Community Collaborates through Placemaking
The Town of Bremen is setting a course to dramatically improve their downtown. Town leaders have planned a major streetscape project set to begin in 2020. In advance of that project, the community is taking a proactive approach through their Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI) placemaking project. This $10,000 project will consist of temporary streetscape and road alteration installations such as bump outs, public seating, and a potential bike lane. Once the HCI project work is completed, Bremen leaders will seek input from the public on these temporary projects to see what works and which ones should be made permanent through the 2020 streetscape plan. This project will beautify and enhance the downtown area with the help of community input and support.
Invest in Marshall County
The Marshall County EDC would like to say thank you for 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 contributing funds to the campaign and partnering with MCEDC include:
- Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc.
Returning investors include:
- Morrow Insurance Agency, Inc.
- Teachers Credit Union
- Easterday Construction Co., Inc.
We'd also like to acknowledge all of our investors. The current full list also includes:
- Marshall County
- Town of Argos
- Town of Bourbon
- Town of Bremen
- Town of Culver
- Town of LaPaz
- City of Plymouth
- 1st Source Bank
- Abonmarche Consultants, Inc.
- AK Industries, Inc.
- American Containers, Inc.
- Anco Office Products
- Applegate & Company, PC
- Banner Electric, Inc.
- Bremen Chamber of Commerce
- Brockey Insurance Agency
- Business Development Corporation
- Centier Bank
- Collins & Company Realtors
- Community Hospital of Bremen
- Country Auto Center
- Culver Chamber of Commerce
- Culver Redevelopment Commission
- DAC Enterprise, Inc.
- Easterday Houin, LLP
- Elkay Wood Products Company
- Farm Innovators, Inc.
- Farmers Mutual Insurance Company
- Faulkner Fabricating, Inc.
- First Federal Savings Bank
- First Merchants Bank
- First National Bank of Monterey
- Gibson Foundation, Inc.
- Graphix Unlimited, Inc.
- Harmony Marketing Group
- Hoosier Racing Tire Corporation
- Hughes Insurance Group
- Indiana Michigan Power
- Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO)
- Jones Huff Jones & Richeson, LLP
- Lake City Bank
- Lukenbill & Lukenbill, LLP
- Majority Builders, Inc.
- Marshall County Community Foundation
- Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Marshall County Museum
- Marshall County Rural Electric Membership Corporation (REMC)
- Masterson & Associates, Inc.
- McKesson Title Corporation
- Meridian Title Corporation
- Michiana Contracting, Inc.
- Miller Insurance Group
- Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)
- Oasis Lifestyle, LLC
- Pioneer Railroad Services, Inc.
- Plymouth Chamber of Commerce
- Plymouth Foundry, Inc.
- Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation
- Plymouth Redevelopment Commission
- Pregis Innovative Packaging, LLC
- Pretzels, Inc.
- Saint Joseph Health System
- Schoberg & Schoberg, Inc.
- Sherwin-Williams Paint Store
- SKRM Architecture LLC
- South Bend International Airport
- Swan Lake Resort & Conference Center
- Troyer Group
- United Way of Marshall County
- Viking Paper Corporation
- Wabash Valley Power Association, Inc.
- Wiers International Trucks, Inc.
- Wyland, Humphrey & Clevenger, LLP
- Zentis Food Solutions North America, LLP
Thank you, together we will strengthen and grow Marshall County's economy.