North Vernon auto parts supplier to add 126 jobs by 2019

A North Vernon provider of engineered components for use in powertrain and suspension applications for the global light, commercial and industrial vehicle markets plans to create 126 jobs by 2019.

Metaldyne Performance Group made that announcement Wednesday.

The Michigan-based company will invest $30.6 mil- lion to lease and equip a 32,400-square-foot facility in North Vernon, according to a news release from Gov. Mike Pence’s office.

The company plans to begin hiring highly-skilled CNC machine operators and engineers in early 2017. Interested applicants may apply through the company’s website or in person at the North Vernon facility.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this month, with operations slated to begin in 2018.

The new building will be adjacent to its current 130,000-square-foot facility at 3100 N. State Road 3.

Connected by a breezeway, the two buildings will provide expanded space for the company to increase production of its powder forged connecting rods, which major automobile manufacturers use to improve fuel efficiency in gasoline and diesel engines.

Metaldyne currently employs nearly 200 workers at North Vernon and more than 12,000 associates around the world.

“Our North Vernon manufacturing operations has been a strong performing plant for MPG and its customers for many years,” said Doug Grimm, president and chief operating officer at MPG. “We are excited about this new expansion, and we appreciate the support from the state of Indiana.”

Founded in 2014 from the merger of three metal-forming technology companies, Metaldyne is now the largest supplier of powder forged connecting rods in the world. With its high-strength, lightweight designs, the company’s rods are ideal for use in high-efficiency engines, using a high-yield process that minimizes material waste.

MPG operates more than 60 facilities around the world, including additional Indiana facilities in Columbus, Bluffton, Fremont, New Castle and Remington.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered MPG up to $800,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.

These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of North Vernon approved additional incentives at the request of the Jennings County Economic Development Commission.

“MPG, formerly operating as Metaldyne, has been a member of this community for many years, and we are extremely pleased they chose the North Vernon facility for their expansion project,” said North Vernon Mayor Mike Ochs. “We very much appreciate their commitment and investment, which will impact not only Jennings County but south central Indiana.”

Five major original equipment manufacturer auto companies and more than 500 automotive suppliers like MPG are operating today across the state, supporting approximately 100,000 Hoosier jobs, according to the state.

Manufacturing accounts for 25 percent of the state’s total economic output, and Indiana’s automotive industry is the second-largest in the nation as measured by GDP.