Bill Kent, vice president of corporation relations at PK, said the company is installing new equipment for a new contract with axle manufacturer Dana Corporation, of Ohio.
“They’re installing it as we speak,” Kent said.
Plastic Moldings is ramping up their production of plastic parts for medical devices.
“We will be expanding that again this year,” said Shelly Carter, human resources manager at PMC.
She said the company’s medical parts have doubled since opening about five years ago. The company’s automotive division is also staying strong, Carter said.
And KN Platech, whose plant is two years old, is about to double in space, adding 36,000 square-feet to the plant, said Randie Danhauer, human resource manager at the plant.
The plant makes plastic parts for automobiles.
All will add jobs, and all have been adding jobs to varying degrees. KN Platech has hired 80 people this year. PMC will hire 10 after their expansion. Kent said PK doesn’t know how many jobs it will add yet.
But, the managers are hesitant to say the economy is turning around.
“Has automotive turned around? I can say definitely yes,” Kent said. “Is the economy in general still cautious? Yes.”
Danhauer said his plant is making parts for new vehicle launches.
“Here in Shelbyville it seems like it is,” he said.
The recent recession caused many companies to consolidate plants, and Kiely said many consolidated their operations to Indiana. Successful plants took advantage of new technology and higher skilled workers to survive during the tough times.
“There’s always a cannibalism that goes on in any recession,” he said.
He did say he’s seen some manufacturing growth in Indiana, though firms in general are still hesitant to invest heavily. Low interest rates, he said, have helped firms obtain capital at a low cost, though.
“I’d say generally right now, we are starting to turn back up,” he said.