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Rail firm says it won’t reach 650-jobs goal in Muncie

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A plan by Progress Rail Services to create up to 650 jobs in Muncie by 2012 will fall woefully short, according to The Economist magazine.

In a Friday online story detailing the city’s economic struggles, a Progress Rail spokeswoman said the company currently employs 150 people in Muncie and has scrapped the 650 target. It expects to have just 250 employees by the end of 2012.

The spokeswoman blamed the sluggish hiring on the weak economy.

Progress Rail, a subsidiary of Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc., in October announced plans to locate a locomotive manufacturing facility in the city 60 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

The company said it would invest about $50 million to open the first locomotive manufacturing and assembly plant in the United States in several years.

The plant is in a 740,000-square-foot facility formerly occupied by ABB Power T&D Co., which closed in 1998.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it would provide Progress Rail up to $3.5 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $1 million in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans.

In addition, the IEDC said it would provide the city of Muncie with up to $1 million in infrastructure assistance from the state's Industrial Development Grant Fund.

And Delaware County considered a tax abatement, community revitalization enhancement district and tax increment financing request valued at about $22.5 million at the request of the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance.

Only about $11 million in state and local incentives have been realized, according to The Economist. Still, that would equate to $44,000 per job.

Founded in 1983, Progress Rail makes, repairs and refurbishes freight cars, locomotives and rail track. In addition, the company oversees the reclamation of used rail, wrecked or retired railcars and locomotives and other scrap metal.

The company has more than 130 operating facilities throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.

 

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  • Another victim
    of the depression we've been in since 2008, more likely. Someone at Caterpillar or Progress Rail drank too much "recovery is happening" "Koolaid". If the railroads aren't buying rolling stock, or even ordering same, why go out on a limb to build a new plant to manufacture same?
  • Fraud
    The Indiana Economic Development Commission is eager to hand out corporate welfare and so, it seems, was the city. The city has already handled out over $11 mil in tax breaks and credits for 10% of the jobs agreed upon.

    City government and the IEDC eager to dole out OUR monies and REVENUES !!! Horrible and fraudulent management.
    Monies and tax credits should only be released IF and WHEN the equal number of jobs is created or else you run into this type of FRAUD.

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

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