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Markle site lures utility-trailer biz

$6 million outlay to create 75 jobs

A shovel-ready site proved money in the bank for Markle as a utility-trailer business will invest about $6 million at a Huntington County location.

Novae Corp., which bills itself as North America’s third-largest utility-trailer manufacturer, announced plans Monday to expand operations, while creating up to 75 new jobs within two years.

The company will renovate and equip a 73,000-square-foot facility at the Markle Industrial Park, a state-certified shovel-ready site, which will be its fourth manufacturing facility in northeast Indiana since 2005.

The new operation will be up and running by November, officials said.

“We chose Indiana again because of the overwhelmingly compelling value we see in pro-business minded government and in the dedicated and productive workforce that is readily available,” Mike Bermes, Novae’s president and chief business development officer, said in a statement.

Mark Wickersham is executive director of Huntington County Economic Development.

“We obviously are excited about Novae’s decision,” he said. “There are, of course, some performance-based metrics tied to the development.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Novae up to $450,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 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.

Wickersham said Huntington County approved additional incentives, and the town of Markle is considering tax breaks but could not provide more information.

Jeff Humbarger, president of the Markle Town Board, praised the teamwork of the project.

“Success in the economic development world is defined by collaboration,” he said. “We really appreciate the support we’ve received from the IEDC, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Huntington County Economic Development and the county.”

Novae Corp. makes open and closed utility trailers, commercial lawn equipment, agricultural and industrial material handling systems. Based in Markle, the company was founded in 1995 and 2013 revenue was more than $50 million.

The company employs 350 workers.