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Local coatings company plans expansion, 50 hires

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Locally based KECO Engineered Coatings Inc. has acquired a second location in Indianapolis where it plans to invest $1 million and hire as many as 50 employees by 2013, the company announced Thursday morning.

The company purchased a 40,000-square-foot facility at 1102 W. 16th St. on the west side, adjacent to the downtown Certified Technology Park. KECO said it plans to hire engineers, managers, customer-service representatives and manufacturing workers with average annual wages of $40,000.

KECO, which develops and applies industrial coatings for several industries, currently has 25 employees at its existing Kealing Avenue facility. Projected sales at the second location could reach $3 million by 2013, doubling company revenue, officials said.

Company President Mike Klinge said the new location will enhance its high-volume coating opportunities. The company is planning to move its process-development and performance-racing business to the new facility by the end of next year. The site also includes 2 acres of land to allow for expansion.

The facility is the former home of Industrial Coating Services Inc., which had 75 employees at the site and as many as 250 in Indianapolis before ceasing operations in December 2009. Klinge said the company has rehired some of ICS's former employees.

Work began at the new facility about two months ago, he said.

KECO—founded in 1980 as Klinge Engineered Coatings—also has a facility in North Carolina, which will remain open. Officials explored expanding there before deciding on Indianapolis for "many reasons," Klinge said.

Mayor Greg Ballard joined company leaders for the announcement.

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