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Alabama firm that irked suppliers promises to add 350 jobs

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Advanced Metal Technologies of Indiana Inc., an auto and industrial parts maker owned by Alabama-based Whitesell Group, will locate its operations in Jeffersonville and add 350 jobs by 2015, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced Friday morning.

In December, AMT acquired the assets of MKM Machine Tool Company Inc., which had operated in Jeffersonville since 1953.

Whitesell’s and AMT’s acquisition of MKM drew questions from MKM suppliers, many of which were owed money by MKM before it went out of business. Whitesell became MKM’s largest secured creditor nearly a year before the business closed, without going bankrupt, and then Whitesell immediately bought out MKM’s assets.

Suppliers complained that MKM ramped up orders in the months leading up to its closure, and then left those large orders unpaid.

Now Whitesell and AMT plan to spend $19 million to lease, renovate and equip the former MKM plant, the IEDC said.

AMT already employs more than 130 people in Jeffersonville, of which 106 are former MKM workers. Its new hires will be in engineering, sales, administration and management. Jeffersonville is about 110 miles south of Indianapolis.

Founded in 1970, Whitesell Group operates manufacturing and distribution facilities at 14 locations across North America. In addition to AMT in Jeffersonville, the group also operates Whitesell Indiana, which has operations in Avon and Plainfield.

The state offered AMT up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans.

"Indiana was selected as the location for AMT because of the state's pro-business climate and strong work force. AMT is committed to the state and will continue to invest, create new jobs and be a new model for American manufacturing,” Neil Whitesell, owner and CEO of Whitesell Group, said in a prepared statement.

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