Manufacturer plans to add 150 jobs in New Castle

Ohio-based Crown Equipment Corp., a manufacturer of lift and pallet trucks, announced on Monday that it plans to add 150 jobs in New Castle by 2013 as part of a $15 million expansion.

The company said the investment will be used to purchase and renovate the 982,000-square-foot former Metaldyne building, in addition to purchasing new machinery.

Plymouth, Mich.-based Metaldyne Corp. in 2009 closed the plant, which it bought from Chrysler Corp. in 2003. The Chrysler supplier was the largest employer in New Castle.

The mammoth facility has been idle since, despite efforts from The D’Arcinoff Group, a Washington, D.C.-based alternative energy company, to produce wind turbines there as part of a national energy program.

D’Arcinoff signed a letter of intent in February 2010 to use the plant to manufacture components and as a training facility for a wind-turbine manufacturing program called Advantage Wind Turbines.

Crown Equipment, meanwhile, plans to begin hiring manufacturing, maintenance and service employees this fall. The company currently has 580 employees in seven locations throughout Indiana.

The company announced in February that it was closing a plant in Connersville. The more than 20 employees at the plant were offered an option to transfer to the New Castle facility, according to the Connersville News-Examiner.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it will provide Crown Equipment up to $1.2 million in performance-based tax credits based on the company’s job-creation plans. The city of New Castle will consider additional property-tax abatements.

Founded in 1945 and based in New Bremen, Ohio, the company originally manufactured temperature controls for coal-burning furnaces. It operates 11 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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