Smith Brothers of Berne Inc. adding 266 jobs

June 23rd, 2015

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updated: 6/23/2015 4:02:02 PM

Furniture Capital' Adds to Empire

Dan McGowan, InsideINdianaBusiness.com

Adams County-based Smith Brothers of Berne Inc. has announced plans to add nearly 270 workers by 2021. The 90-year-old company has pumped $4.5 million into more space in the past year and is hiring skilled fabric, leather, sewing and upholstery tradespeople. The manufacturer is located in the so-called "Furniture Capital of Indiana" and currently employs more than 420 workers.

Two years ago, Smith Brothers hired 20 more workers. The company's facilities in the northeast Indiana city include two facilities that cover more than 380,000 square feet. It says sales have increased in excess of 190 percent over the last six years.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Lehman credits the success to the work force. "We continue to expand our location in Indiana because Indiana continues to provide us with high caliber individuals that possess a strong work ethic," he said.

Berne Mayor Bill McKean says the city is "excited to be a partner with them in their many expansion projects." In addition to support from the city, the county also approved incentives and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered up to $1.75 in conditional tax credits and as much as $200,000 in training grants.

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