Heartland Sweeteners, a producer of drink mixes and zero-calorie sweeteners, announced plans to expand its operations in central Indiana, creating up to 160 new jobs within the next three years.
The homegrown-Hoosier company will invest $21.2 million to renovate and equip 435,000 square feet of production and distribution facilities at its Indianapolis’ packaging facility. The expansions, which are all expected to be operational by the end of the year, include multiple new production lines, high-speed filling machines, end-of-line packaging equipment and blending equipment.
The company also announced plans to add resources to its Clay Terrace Mall headquarters in Carmel to meet the rampant growth in demand for its products.
It’s Heartland’s second major expansion in just three years. In 2011, the company made plans to create 68 new jobs by 2015. Heartland, which currently employs approximately 300 full-time Indiana associates, has exceeded that goal. The company is currently hiring for additional general manufacturing positions. Interested applicants may apply online at www.heartlandfpg.com/careers.
“Central Indiana is where this business was founded,” said Ted Gelov, chief executive officer of Heartland. “We are proud to be investing in the community in which we live, creating jobs and receiving the support of local and state officials. Indianapolis offers a strong local workforce, great logistical advantages and a manufacturing and technology infrastructure to fuel our growth.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Heartland Sweeteners up to $1.2 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Indianapolis will consider additional tax abatement at the request of Develop Indy, a business unit of the Indy Chamber.
Indiana leads the nation in manufacturing jobs as a portion of the private sector, adding 4,600 jobs in manufacturing just in January. This growth helped Indiana achieve its largest one month decrease in its unemployment rate in 20 years.