A Jennings County company that makes custom injection-molded plastic parts and components has announced plans to expand its operations, which also will increase the workforce by nearly 25 percent.

Decatur Plastic Products employs 165 associates at its two North Vernon facilities, with its headquarters at 3250 State Road 7 in North Vernon. Decatur Plastic Products will add up to 40 new jobs by 2019 with the expansion.

The company will invest more than $3 million to update its equipment and provide training opportunities for employees at the headquarters facility, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced.

Decatur Plastic Products has received $75,000 in training grants from the state’s economic development office based on the company’s job-creation plans.

The company will offer all of its associates injection-molding and safety training, and leadership and career-development courses.

Company spokesman Kenny Freeman said the expansion and job additions stem from purchase of the company by the Riley family last year and gains in efficiency.

“Reorganizing made it much easier to complete orders because of lean manufacturing,” Freeman said.

One new press already has been added and another will be installed today, he said.

Decatur Plastic Products provides injection molding, flocking (applying fine particles to surfaces), assembly and finishing services, and engineering and material assistance for customer, such as Faurecia, Heartland Automotive and PK USA. Decatur Plastic also offers supply chain services.

The North Vernon firm is looking to hire press operators, flockers and production supervisors.

The company’s president said the business benefits from its geographic position.

“Indiana is a great location with access to multiple major metropolitan areas and shipping lanes,” said Robert Riley, Decatur Plastic Products president and chief financial officer.

“In addition, there is significant manufacturing within and around Indiana, the state government seeks out mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses in order to foster growth opportunities, and there are a number of great academic institutions within the state such as Purdue, Indiana and Notre Dame,” Riley said.

Local economic and government officials expressed excitement about news of the company’s expansion.

“As an economic development organization, our number-one priority is to support expansion and growth of our current companies,” said Kathy Ertel, executive director of the Jennings County Economic Development Commission.

“The advancements made at DPP over the last year-and-a-half have been tremendous, and we are looking forward to what they have planned for the future here in Jennings,” she said.

“Decatur Plastics has been a long-standing great company in Jennings County, and we are excited about their plans to increase their workforce here in Jennings County,” said Matt Sporleder, president of the Jennings County Board of Commissioners.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.