LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A Lafayette employer may more than double its current workforce.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence was the first to release the news while on an economic trade mission to Japan Wednesday.
It appears to be a ripple effect from a big jobs announcement earlier this year. In May, Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) announced a $400 million expansion project bringing 900 new jobs to the area. At the time, economic leaders told News 18 they expected a ripple effect of thousands of more jobs.
Wednesday's news appears to be the first.
Governor Pence met with leaders of Shigeru, the parent company of Heartland Automotive, and discussed expansion plans at Lafayette's plant Wednesday.
Pence says it would mean hundreds of new jobs at the $8.4 million facility in Lafayette that just opened last fall. The plant supplies parts to SIA including instrument panels and doors.
Greater Lafayette Commerce Economic Development Program Manager Lauren Davis said the expansion doesn't come as a surprise. But the timing does because it's even quicker than they expected.
"I wouldn't say so quickly, but I think that it is something with the SIA expansion that we would have expected to happen. So we're glad it's happening here and so quickly," said Davis.
If Pence is correct that hundreds of jobs are coming, it would more than double Heartland's workforce. Last year they announced plans to employ about 150 people in Lafayette. But according to the most recent data kept by Greater Lafayette Commerce, it employs 93.
The ripple effect may not be over.
Davis expects the ripple effect to continue throughout other regional suppliers including a manufacturer of seat belt harnesses based in Frankfort.
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