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Casket maker plans $16.5M investment, 300 jobs

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Indianapolis-based Genesis Casket Co. plans to invest $16.5 million to open a manufacturing and distribution operation on the city’s far-east side, creating 300 jobs over the next three years.

Mayor Greg Ballard joined company officials to announce the plans Wednesday morning.

Founded just last year, Genesis Casket expects to hire the first 150 employees at an average wage of $26 per hour by the time the facility opens in the summer. Management, sales and marketing, engineering, and production and distribution positions will be among those filled.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered the company up to $4.5 million in performance-based tax credits. In addition, Develop Indy will support the company’s request for a personal property-tax abatement before the Metropolitan Development Commission based on job-creation and capital-investment plans.

EmployIndy, formerly the Indianapolis Private Industry Council, has offered recruiting assistance and a $300,000 job-training grant.

Genesis Casket, which expects to produce 30,000 metal caskets in its first full year of production, is partnering with Troy, Mich.-based Gestamp North America Inc. to open the facility.

William Anthony Colson has been named CEO of Genesis Casket and will relocate to Indianapolis. He most recently served as president and CEO of Wilbert Funeral Services in Chicago, a manufacturer and distributor of burial vaults and cremation products.

“Indianapolis is central in proximity to many major markets, which makes it a preferred location from an operations and logistics perspective,” Colson said. “My team and I considered several possibilities.”

Genesis Casket will occupy the 241,000-square-foot building at 3011 N. Franklin Road sold recently by SMC Corp. and listed for $3.9 million. The sale price wasn’t disclosed.

SMC Corp. is a Japanese manufacturer of pneumatic valves and actuators whose U.S. headquarters are now in Noblesville.

In 2008, the state gave SMC $4 million in tax credits plus $387,000 in training grants to move 500 jobs to the Hamilton County city. The company expected to create another 250 jobs by moving to Noblesville.

In addition to the state incentives, SMC received $14.6 million in incentives and infrastructure improvements, such as road widening, from the city of Noblesville.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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