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At a glance
Fort Wayne Metals Research Products Corp.
Business: The company makes wire for the medical industry.
Headquarters: 9606 Ardmore Ave.
Locations: 11 in northeast Indiana and one in Ireland
Founded: 1946 by Ardelle Glaze
Employees: More than 700, including more than 650 in northeast Indiana
Ownership: Privately held
2013 sales: Not disclosed

Metals plant to grow, add jobs

Wire maker sees rising demand

Troy Linder can laugh about the confusion. The chief financial officer saw it coming, after all.

Fort Wayne Metals Research Products Corp. is investing $29.4 million in an expansion project that will create up to 106 jobs by 2017, state officials announced Wednesday afternoon.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. simultaneously announced that Fort Wayne Metals plans to invest $17.7 million and create 72 jobs over the next two years.

Linder said both totals are correct. It depends on where you draw the cutoff line – at three years or two.

If you looked at the five- or seven-year picture, the numbers would be even larger, he said.

“We’re constantly reinvesting in our business,” Linder said, adding that the state’s three-year view is “as good as any.”

The privately owned company makes precision wire for the medical industry. The strands – sometimes thinner than a human hair – are used in cardiac, dental, orthopedic and other medical devices.

Customer demand is driving the expansion, which includes the addition of a 33,000-square-foot facility onto an existing building at 9609 Ardmore Ave.

The project will also outfit the new space with equipment.

“We continue to innovate, which is a critical part of our growth,” Linder said.

That innovation includes venturing into new products and new alloys, he said. The company works with stainless steel, nickel, cobalt, titanium and other materials.

The manufacturer’s increased orders are coming from new and existing customers.

“As we continue to see growing demand for our products, both domestically and internationally, it is critical that we create an infrastructure that can support the needs of our customers,” Linder said in a statement.

State and local officials applauded the expansion plans.

“Fort Wayne Metals is sending a strong message that our city is a place to invest and grow,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement.

Gov. Mike Pence referred to the company’s global reach in his remarks.

“After doing business around the world, Indiana companies like Fort Wayne Metals understand firsthand the benefits offered by our Hoosier business climate,” he said in a statement.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Fort Wayne Metals up to $1,125,000 in conditional tax credits, based on the company’s hiring plans.

New workers must be hired before incentives can be redeemed.

The city of Fort Wayne will consider additional economic development incentives. Information wasn’t available Wednesday on when the request will be considered and how much the company might save if it is approved.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for the spring with construction expected to be completed by the fall, Linder said.

Hiring is expected to begin this fall for production, administrative, and research and development positions. Wages will average $22 an hour, with the exact rate determined by the position and the applicant’s experience, Linder said.

The company is accepting applications online at www.fwmetals.com/careers.

sslater@jg.net

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