Steel producer plans multi-million dollar investment in northeast Indiana

Steel Dynamics, Inc, one of the nation’s largest steel producers, announced plans to expand its operations here, creating up to 33 new high-wage jobs by 2018.

“As home to more than 8,500 manufacturing establishments, Indiana is known around the world as a manufacturing leader,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “Indiana’s pro-growth business climate and skilled workforce allow companies like Steel Dynamics to continually expand in our state, creating quality jobs for Hoosiers and solidifying Indiana’s status as home to the largest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation.”

The company will invest more than $75 million into its facility at 2601 South 700 East in Columbia City to add new rolling equipment, buildings for storage, site grading, drainage and road improvements. With construction expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, this expansion will allow Steel Dynamics to produce 240,000 tons of new steel products annually.

Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Steel Dynamics has operations in 15 cities throughout Indiana, including Butler, Columbia City, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville and Pittsboro. The company currently employs approximately 3,400 full-time associates across the state, including 705 full-time employees at its Columbia City facility. These new, high-skill positions will be in the steel production and maintenance areas. Positions are expected to pay more than 50 percent above the state’s average wage.

“We appreciate the favorable business climate and the partnership that has been built over the years with the state of Indiana and Whitley County. We are excited to continue that partnership through investment in the Structural and Rail Division expansion that will allow us to utilize existing excess melting and casting capability and further diversify our product mix,” said Chris Gionti, Structural and Rail Division General Manager.

Steel Dynamics, which is one of the largest domestic steel producers and metal recyclers in the United States based on estimated annual steelmaking and metals recycling capabilities, operates facilities located throughout the United States and Mexico. Steel Dynamics produces steel products, including hot roll, cold roll, coated sheet steel, structural steel beams and shapes, rail, engineered special-bar-quality steel, cold finished steel, merchant bar products, specialty steel sections and steel joists and deck.

“We are pleased and very proud to support SDI on this project,” said Whitley County Commissioner George Schrumpf. “SDI has been a significant asset to the Whitley County community, and we appreciate all the company does to invest in and support our community.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Steel Dynamics up to $190,000 in training grants and up to $300,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s expansion plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired and the investment is made, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Whitley County approved additional incentives at the request of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation.

Indiana is home to the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation and is a national leader in manufacturing job growth. With the state’s unemployment rate at 3.2 percent, which is below the national average and below all of Indiana’s neighboring states, manufacturers like Steel Dynamics employ one in five Hoosiers at about 8,500 manufacturing facilities across the state.