Local News 2017The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), in partnership with Conexus Indiana, announced the third round of awards totaling approximately $1.5 million to 31 Indiana businesses in Manufacturing Readiness Grants, which Governor Eric J. Holcomb first announced in May under the Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement (EASE) program. The grants, which are a key part of Gov. Holcomb’s 2021 Next Level Agenda announced last week, are designed to stimulate manufacturing investments that will position Hoosier operations, and the sector overall, for future growth and prosperity.

Marshall County had two Manufactures out of the 31 recipients to receive the Manufacturing Readiness Grant. The recipients were as follows:

Ameri-Can Engineering (Marshall County; $26,852 grant award) manufactures portable sanitation trailers in Argos. In order to meet increased demand due to COVID-19, this third-generation, family-managed company is modernizing equipment and processes to improve production efficiencies.

Culver Tool and Engineering Inc. (CTE Solutions) (Marshall County; $79,455 grant award), founded in 1950 and located in Plymouth, manufactures orthopedic implants and instruments for spinal surgeries. CTE also provides custom implants and instruments, including prototypes, for all segments of the orthopedic industry. The company is updating its forming and deburring processes with custom-built equipment, while upskilling employees.

“As a state, it’s critical that we support manufacturers as they modernize their operations and efficiencies to succeed in today’s 21st century economy,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Like many industries, this sector has faced unprecedented challenges this year yet these Hoosiers are pushing full steam ahead. We’re encouraged by their continued commitment to enhancing and growing their businesses, solidifying our state’s reputation as the top manufacturing state in the nation per capita.”

The 31 manufacturers receiving grants represent 21 Indiana counties and cover a wide range of specialties, including automotive, aerospace and defense, agriculture, machinery and construction, consumer packaging products, and health care and medical. Together, these businesses plan to invest more than $15 million in technology and equipment to position their businesses for future growth by increasing capacity and modernizing operations. Five of the manufacturers – Ameri-Can Engineering, DQE Inc, Meyer Plastics Inc., Primex Plastics Corporation and Universal Technologies LLC – are accelerating operational investments in health care manufacturing or preparedness technology to support critical COVID-19 response efforts.

The IEDC initially made $4 million available for Indiana Manufacturing Readiness Grants and has since been able to expand the awards for Hoosier manufacturers with support of CARES Act funding. The awards are issued in the form of matching grants up to or equal to the amount of the qualified investment in new equipment and machinery (minimum 1:1 investment match). While the allocated program funding has been exceeded, Conexus, with the input of a peer review panel, will continue to assess applications and make funding recommendations to the IEDC, which will fund select applications if and when additional funding becomes available. Eligibility requirements and the grant application are available online.

“It’s a very positive indicator when this many manufacturers, this geographically dispersed throughout the state, and operating in so many sectors are making investments in smart manufacturing technology,” said Mitch Landess, vice president of innovation and digital transformation at Conexus Indiana. “It leaves you very optimistic about the future.”