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$4 million Wells expansion

Maker of truck bed liners will double workforce to 100

New Concord, Ohio-based PendaForm Corp. plans to spend up to $4 million expanding its Bluffton plant and will also double the plastic manufacturer’s workforce there.

President and CEO Jack Slinger said Tuesday that Wells County is an attractive location because of the positive business climate, the ability to expand the 60,000-square-foot building and the hardworking labor force. The company employs 50 at 130 Harvest Road.

The money will be spent expanding the building and for equipment. Local leaders were uncertain of the building’s expansion size. PendaForm officials could not be reached Tuesday.

Fifty new jobs will pay between $12.50 and $18.50 an hour and will be filled this year.

“We are obviously pleased when a Bluffton business grows,” Mayor Ted Ellis said in a statement, “and we were happy to work closely with PendaForm to assure these jobs stay in Bluffton, and more jobs are made available for our Wells County community.”

Formally Fabri-Form Co., PendaForm specializes in making truck bed liners.

Tim Ehlerding, economic development director for Wells County, said the area competed with several other locations to attract the expansion.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered PendaForm up to $160,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $35,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

The city of Bluffton will round out the incentives through a 10-year tax abatement that will save the company up to $250,000. The city also will spend $150,000 on utility upgrades and street improvements will be made.

“Indiana is a manufacturing leader, with the skilled workforce, limited regulations and low-tax business environment companies need to succeed,” Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., said in a statement.

“We remain committed to promoting Indiana’s continued growth as a state that works, helping companies discover what they’re seeking to grow and create more Hoosier jobs,” he said.