Japanese firms drive solid growth in Seymour

November 19, 2007

Two decades ago the southern Indiana town of Seymour suffered from double-digit unemployment, a degraded tax base and an outflow of residents.

Today, the town, located between Indianapolis and Louisville, is adding jobs along with housing, hotels and restaurants.

The key was a 1986 decision by Toyota supplier Aisin Seiki to locate its first U.S. plant in the community, according to The Republic of Columbus.

Seymour beat out Berea, Ky., for the project because the Indiana community wanted industry, residents had a better work ethic and the town was a good place to live, Aisin told the newspaper. The company also received swift answers to its questions.

Four Aisin plants in the area now employ 2,300 workers who earn an average of $15 an hour. The presence of the plants has attracted other companies, such as Kobelco Metal Powder.

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