Suppliers to GM set to expand, add jobs

Two GM suppliers are investing $14.7 million to expand operations in Allen County, officials announced Tuesday. Plans call for creating up to 313 new jobs by the end of next year.

Android Industries will expand operations into the entire 112,000-square-foot building at 13004 Fogwell Parkway. The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company now leases about half of the factory, where it makes chassis complex assemblies for General Motors pickup trucks.

Avancez, Android’s sister company, will lease 300,000 square feet in a nearby facility at 12808 Stonebridge Road.

The companies, which employ more than 70 locally, will begin hiring in September. Positions include assembly, material coordinator, maintenance technician, engineers and other skilled jobs.

Hourly pay for assembly positions starts at $11.25 an hour. Wages depend on the position and worker’s experience. Android is accepting applications on its website.

Angel Guillen, Android’s spokesman, said the company is investing mostly in equipment for the manufacturing operations. Both companies supply the same parts, he said in an email.

GM increased its existing contract with the suppliers by 400 percent, prompting the rapid expansion, Guillen said.

Android and Avancez are able to expand quickly because a shell building was constructed on Stonebridge to attract employers to the area.

The Allen County Redevelopment Commission bought the land in 2010 and installed water, sewer and other infrastructure. NorthPoint Development LLC bought the property from the county in 2014 and erected the building there, which is also occupied by two other tenants.

Richard Beck, the commission’s president, said this is what officials hoped for when they created the land banking initiative in 2008.

“Government should not attempt to create jobs,” he said in a statement. “However, it should foster the environment that attracts jobs.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Android up to $2 million in conditional tax credits for the project and up to $200,000 in training grants, based on the company’s hiring plans. Northeast Indiana Works will provide hiring and training assistance.

The Allen County Council will be asked to consider tax phase-ins on its newly installed machinery.

Android and Avancez employ more than 2,000 worldwide, including operations in Canada, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Turkey and Italy. The auto parts supplier plans to expand soon into China.

Kathryn Nichols, the companies’ CEO, in a statement thanked GM and local community leaders for supporting the company.

“By working together towards a common goal,” she said, “we all win.”

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