Guardian adding 58 jobs

March 13th, 2012

News Coverage:

Guardian adding 58 jobs

By Bob Buttgen

Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 1:00am

LIGONIER — Guardian Industries of Ligonier received a tax abatement from the Ligonier City Council Monday night that will bring at least 58 new jobs to the plant by the end of next year.

Guardian produces windshields, windows and other glass items for the automotive industry.

The company is investing nearly $5 million in new production equipment along with $3 million in real property improvements to its large factory located on U.S. 6 on the city’s westside.

And in a first for the city, Guardian volunteered to give back a portion of its savings from the abatement to a community cause. The company will donate 10 percent realized savings to LEAP of Noble County which promotes literacy and lifelong educational efforts.

It’s too early to say how much that donation could be, but it could be several thousand dollars, Ligonier Mayor Patty Fisel said.

Guardian plant manager Jim Recob addressed the council with his company’s application for the abatement.

City council members approved a 10-year tax abatement on the improvements. That abatement starts at 100 percent and is reduced by 10 percent a year.

Recob said the company is already hiring to fill the new positions. The increase in 58 jobs is a conservative estimate, he said. The company has about 277 employees now.

“We are currently in various stages of initial development and launch on several new business opportunities. This activity will continue beyond the current year,” Recob.

Guardian is embracing smart technologies in windows and glass that will reflect the sun’s rays and help keep the inside of vehicles cooler. Also, a new type of sunroof that the company is hoping to build will collect solar energy to be used to power vehicles, Recob said.

Another local company, AME-Swiss Machining, also applied for a rebate of about $1 million to install two new machines that will add two more jobs to the six already offered at the factory on Gerber St. in the city’s industrial park.

AME-Swiss Machining is a spinoff of Advanced Metal Etching, which has been in operation for 19 years. The new company is setting up shop in the former Royal Imprints building, which the company is leasing at this time.