MILFORD — For two months, meetings of the Milford Redevelopment Commission were dominated by plans for a new business known only as “Project Marine,” which planned to bring 75 new jobs to the area by 2023.
At the commission’s Tuesday morning, Oct. 8, meeting, Project Marine’s identity was unveiled. Williamsburg Marine, a startup marine industry supplier, announced it is locating operations in Milford.
“We are excited to start our operations in Milford and to become a leading employer in the community,” said Williamsburg Marine General Manager Karen Weaver. “Our leadership group brings together more than 30 years of experience in the marine industry.”
According to a press release from Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation, whose CEO Alan Tio was present at the Oct. 8 meeting, Williamsburg Marine will invest in excess of $1 million to equip a 30,000 square-foot building on Old SR 15 in Milford, the site formerly occupied by Leading Edge Countertops, to produce marine interiors and related components and accessories. The company is already working with a network of mid- to upper-end marine customers, plans to be operational by late fall and is already active at industry trade shows.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Williamsburg Marine up to $750,000 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, according to the press release. The average wage is expected to be roughly $25 per hour.
On Tuesday, Milford Redevelopment Commission approved a training grant of $500 per employee up to $50,000 for five years in lieu of a tax abatement to reimburse the company for the costs of training new employees at the request of KEDCo. Weaver agreed training costs could start as early as November.
“Workforce development is a key issue,” stated Commission Chairman Dan Brown. “This will create some opportunities for people within the area. It’s a lot of bang for the buck.”
“This announcement reaffirms our belief that Milford is a great location between Goshen and Warsaw to start and grow businesses,” said Brown.
The commission also voted to change next month’s meeting to 10 a.m. Nov. 18, so as not to conflict with Veterans Day, Nov. 11.