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Noblesville manufacturer plans move to Elwood, expansion

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A small Noblesville manufacturer plans to move to Elwood, bringing the Madison County city its first new major employer since 1987, Mayor Ron Arnold announced Wednesday.

Warner Bodies Inc., which custom makes bodies for work trucks, will take over a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing building that’s been vacant since 2008, Arnold said. Warner, which currently has about 50 employees, expects that number to grow to 200 over the next five years, he said.

“They’re expanding their market share,” Arnold said. "They are going into new markets they haven’t been in before. They have a great vision for this facility."

Founded in 1939, Warner was acquired by Manasek Acquisition Co. in 2010. Warner custom-welds stainless steel and aluminum utility boxes for fire trucks and other utility vehicles.

Though Elwood’s largest employer, tomato processor Red Gold, continues to expand, the city of about 8,600 people hasn’t seen major job growth since Japanese automotive supplier Elsa LLC located there in 1987, creating 350 jobs, Arnold said.

Arnold, a former deputy chief of staff and political director for Gov. Mike Pence when Pence was a congressman, began marketing Elwood with help from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. not long after he was elected in 2011.

One of the attractions for Warner, Arnold said, was the Hinds Career Center, a vocational school in town will be able to train future welders. Hourly pay at the company ranges from $12 to $20.

Warner will buy the former Plastech manufacturing building from the city’s redevelopment commission. Arnold said the company expects to invest $3 million.

“They have a lot of work to do over the next several months just to get the lights turned on,” he said.

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  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

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