ELKHART — An Elkhart-based bus maker is expanding its local plant and adding jobs, the company announced Friday, March 28.
Ameritrans Bus Inc. will invest $429,384 to renovate and equip its new 60,000-square-foot facility at 3601 C.R. 6, growing its Elkhart employment from 78 to 113, a 45 percent increase, by 2017.
Ameritrans, founded in 1998 as TMC Group, was acquired by Faribault, Minn.-based ABC Companies in 2012. The facility, which will be operational next month, will enable the company to concentrate on production of small transit-style buses. The company utilizes a nationwide dealer network to serve its clients, which include schools, churches, shuttle services, public transit systems, tour companies, limo services, prisons and retirement communities.
"Indiana, Elkhart in particular, provides an excellent skilled workforce along with an ample supply base for the manufacture of buses," Lee Loper, senior vice president of ABC Companies, said in a statement. "The state provides a central location to the U.S. market."
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Ameritrans up to $225,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $20,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning they depend on people being hired.
The project must create 35 jobs by the end of 2017 to receive the state incentives. It must create 20 jobs, paying at least $19 an hour, by the end of 2016 to receive a property tax break approved by the city of Elkhart.
In exchange for a $351,584 real property investment, the company will receive a $20,990 real property tax break over three years, said Barkley Garrett, the city's director of economic development.
Interested job applicants may apply at the company's headquarters at 2503 Ada Drive in Elkhart.