IN: Music Case Manufacturer to Expand in Allen County
6 Sep, 2011
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Gator Cases, Inc., a musical and audio visual case manufacturer, recently announced that it will expand its operations here, creating up to 25 new jobs by 2014.
The company, which designs and manufactures hard cases and bags to protect musical instruments and audio products, will invest more than $350,000 in new molding equipment at its 32,000 square-foot Allen County facility. The new machinery will be operational by November and nearly double the product capacity at this location.
"Decisions like the one Gator is making to continue to invest in Indiana validates the Hoosier State as an important component of businesses' long-term strategies," said Mitch Roob, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. "We look forward to working with this company as it grows and creates new jobs for Hoosiers."
Gator employs 54 associates globally, including 23 employees in Grabill. The company plans to begin hiring additional manufacturing and support personnel this month.
"We are excited to invest in our Grabill operations," said Jeff Settano, vice president of global operations at Gator. "This investment in a new rotational molding machine and downstream manufacturing support equipment will greatly increase our capacity and capabilities to produce larger products. The new equipment, along with our recent implementation of lean manufacturing principles, will continue us down the path to world class manufacturing in Grabill, Ind."
Founded in 2000 when the company introduced its first line of plastic guitar cases, Gator is owned and managed by the father-daughter team of Jerry Freed and Crystal Morris. During the last 11 years, its line has grown to more than 1,000 products including school band equipment covers, rack cases, touring truck packs and gig bags. Gator, which is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., has manufacturing facilities in Grabill and China and sells products to customers in 65 countries.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Gator Cases, Inc. up to $100,000 in performance-based tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. The town of Grabill will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance.
"The town of Grabill is pleased to have such a name brand company growing in its community once again," said Wilmer Delagrange, Grabill town council president. "We look forward to the continued growth of Gator Cases."
Gator is the latest company to announce new jobs in Allen County. Earlier this month, Franklin Electric, a manufacturer of systems and components for the movement of water and automotive fuels, announced that it will relocate its global headquarters to Fort Wayne, creating up to 35 new jobs by 2014.
About Gator Cases
Gator Cases was founded in 2000 by father-daughter team, Jerry Freed and Crystal Morris in Tampa, Fla. and has a majority female owned designation. The company manufactures over 1000 products branded with their proprietary Gator Cases name for the audio, visual, and music markets that are distributed in over 65 countries internationally and through a U.S. dealer base. In addition, Gator is an OEM case provider for many well recognized global companies. In 2008, Gator acquired XL Specialty in Grabill, Indiana allowing for USA manufacturing of rotational molded products along with stand and metal carriers. For more information, visit www.gatorcases.com.
Created by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Daniels. Mitch Roob serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.