It was a historic day at Sullair headquarters in Michigan City, as company employees from all quarters joined city and state officials to celebrate the largest investment project the company has ever undertaken.
“Today is a very big day for Sullair,” said the company’s Director of Operations, Chad McKeever. “It’s an amazing feeling. There’s a lot of energy outside here with the staff.”
“All the plant employees are proud to work for Sullair and to know that we are growing and investing not only into the community but also into this business they have held dear for so many years,” McKeever continued.
Compressed air solutions company Sullair, founded in Michigan City in 1965, has been a mainstay presence and major employer in the Region for the past 50 years. When they joined the Hitachi Group Company in 2017, organization leaders looked forward to the growth and expanded reach the new relationship would bring.
“It’s a very exciting time for Michigan City,” said Clarance Hulse, Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City (EDCMC). “This is a great project that we’ve been working on for the past three years. Sullair is a great community leader, they get involved in a lot of the local non-profits, and we are excited to see them expand.”
On Friday, those seeds of promise began to flower as Sullair broke ground on an exciting new expansion at their Michigan City campus.
“We work on a lot of different projects, so when they come to fruition, it's good to see what actually happens,” Hulse said.
The approximately $30 million construction project signals Sullair and Hitachi’s ongoing commitment to increasing its contribution to economic success in Northwest Indiana. When completed, the campus will sport a new 80,000-square-foot manufacturing building, a canopied storage building and an additional parking lot for employees. Additionally, several parts of the current 280,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will be updated and remodeled.
“We’re always happy to see homegrown companies expanding and creating jobs,'' said Matt Saltanovitz, Northwest Region Business Development Director for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Especially now that it’s part of the Hitachi company, that expands the amount of Japanese investment here in the state and in Northwest Indiana, which is always a good thing.”
Expanding the campus will allow the company to increase the production of air compressors. To accommodate the new manufacturing capacity, Sullair plans to add more than 30 new full-time positions at the plant.
City of Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer explained that one of the most exciting aspects of the project for his office is all the ancillary job opportunities it creates. Not only will the expanded facility hire new employees, but so will the construction unions who build it, as well as the local suppliers who contribute to the final product.
“It puts the roots of Hitachi Sullair deeper into Michigan City and the community,” Meer said.
New employment opportunities at the plant will be welcome news for Michigan High School students enrolled in the EDCMC’s Compressed Air Academy.
“With this addition, we’re adding quite a few more jobs and there will be openings for folks who come through the Compressed Air Academy program,” said Bryan Tylisz, Sullair’s Vice President of the Americas for Commercial and Industrial Sales.
For more information about Sullair products and services, please visit their website: america.sullair.com.