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Busche expanding sooner than expected

July 11th, 2012

News Coverage:

Busche expanding sooner than expected

By Bob Braley bobb@kpcnews.net

Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 12:00am

ALBION — Busche’s move to expand its newest plant is starting earlier than planned by months, because the time is right now.

“We’re just seeing a high degree of opportunities,” said Busche CEO and president Nick Busche.

Those new opportunities will mean new jobs. The plant is projected to add 120 new jobs in Albion by 2015 — with just more than half of those jobs already filled — and it’s already a working facility.

At a groundbreaking ceremony for a 24,000-square-foot expansion to the existing 36,000-square-foot plant, Nick Busche showed participants the six new pieces of computer-numeric controlled machining equipment already in the plant, with four more ready to be moved in.

When Gov. Mitch Daniels visited the building in March 2012, plans called for the expansion to begin this fall. It will begin the middle of this month instead, a news release said.

The addition will be to the south and west of the existing building. As Busche has done in the past, it is using an existing building that was available for Plant 9, adding on as needed.

Since Daniels’ visit, Busche has increased from 572 to 638 employees, the news release said. As of June 29, 66 of the predicted 120 jobs already have been filled. The company is about three-quarters of the way to its projected growth to 670 employees, the release said.

Busche program manager Giran Kunkel is in charge of construction at Plant 9. Scott Pounds of Leatherman Construction Inc. is working with Kunkel on the project. Its completion date is now set for Dec. 31.

Busche was established in 1997 in a revitalized location on the Noble County Courthouse square in Albion. It has grown steadily and now consists of eight production facilities in Albion and Kendallville with more than 432,000 square feet “under roof.”

The company is a $100-million CNC production machining organization creating skilled jobs. It specializes in machining intricate castings and forgings for the auto, construction, agriculture and medium-duty truck industries, along with a work for other industries.