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Cummins plans expansion, 600 jobs for Columbus

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Cummins Inc. announced Friday that it will add 600 employees to work in an $18 million office building the diesel engine maker will construct in downtown Columbus, where it is headquartered.

The development is the third expansion in southern Indiana announced by Cummins in the past year. Once the new building is filled, in 2013, Cummins will employ nearly 3,000 workers in a two-block area of downtown Columbus, three times its local presence in 2008.

Cummins executives credited international growth for its expansion at home. In addition to engine sales, Cummins officials said overseas sales and service of power generators and engine components such as filters and turbochargers have been strong.

“Our success in global markets over the past few years allowed us to remain strong during the recent economic downturn and has positioned the company for a period of accelerated growth,” Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Linebarger said in prepared statement.

Cummins reported its most profitable year in company history in 2010, largely on the strength of significant growth in large international markets such as China, India and Brazil.

The company expects further strong growth in 2011 as its key U.S. markets recover from the economic downturn, as part of a period of accelerated profitable growth over the next several years.

“As Cummins continues to grow and prosper around the world, our headquarters city and state also benefit,” Linebarger added. “These well-paying professional jobs will be crucial as we chart a course for future growth both here and abroad, and also will add to the vitality and diversity of Columbus.”

Cummins expects to break ground this month on the new facility at the corner of Jackson and Fourth streets, a block south of the headquarters building. The 130,000-square-foot building will connect to a similar-sized office building that Cummins moved into in 2009.

The ground floor of the new building, facing Fourth Street, will be converted into commercial space with plans for additional restaurants.

To provide parking for the new employees and the employees moving into the former First Financial property Cummins purchased earlier this year, the city of Columbus will build an 800-space parking garage along Jackson Street, between Sixth and Seventh streets, for use by Cummins employees during daytime working hours and for the community at other times.

The city also has agreed to provide $1 million to Cummins to use for the Community Education Coalition’s education improvement initiatives.

“Cummins continues to be a major economic driver in our community, and we remain committed to partnering with the company as it grows in southern Indiana,” Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong said in a prepared statement.

Cummins has made two other jobs-related announcements in Indiana in the past year:

In July 2010, Cummins announced a $200 million expansion of its Seymour Engine Plant to create a technical center and manufacturing line to design and produce a new high-horsepower engine. The expansion is expected to result in 200 new technical jobs over the next three years and further job growth once the new engine goes into production.

In October 2010, Cummins announced plans to purchase the former First Financial bank office and branch in downtown Columbus across the street from the company’s corporate headquarters to use as office space. Cummins has since closed on the property and expects to have 350 employees in the facility by year’s end.

 

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