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Bus company expands Indiana operations

March 28, 2014

ELKHART, Ind.  (March 28, 2014) – Ameritrans Bus, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of small to mid-size transportation vehicles, announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 35 new jobs by 2017.

The Elkhart-based company, which was acquired by Faribault, Minn.-based ABC Companies in 2012, will invest $429,384 to renovate and equip its new 60,000 square-foot facility at 3601 County Road 6 in Elkhart. The facility, which will be operational by next month, will enable the company to concentrate on the production of small transit-style buses.

“Ameritrans’ growth, coupled with the growth of other homegrown companies across the state, keeps Indiana’s economy moving forward,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “As a state that works, we are proud that businesses founded in Indiana find the environment they need to expand here, complete with a low-tax climate and talented workforce at the crossroads of America.”

Ameritrans, which currently employs 78 full-time Indiana associates, plans to begin hiring for general assembly positions in January. Interested applicants may apply by completing an application at the company’s headquarters at 2503 Ada Drive in Elkhart.

“Indiana, Elkhart County in particular, provides an excellent skilled workforce along with an ample supply base for the manufacture of buses,” said Lee Loper, senior vice president of ABC Companies. “The state provides a central location to the U.S. market.”

Founded in 1998 as TMC Group, Ameritrans produces and distributes an exclusive line of mid-size and specialty transportation vehicles. The company utilizes a nationwide dealer network to serve its clients, which includes schools, churches, shuttle services, public transit systems, tour companies, limo services, prisons and retirement communities.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Ameritrans Bus, Inc. up to $225,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $20,000 in training grants 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. The city of Elkhart approved additional incentives at the request of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County.

“We are excited to have Ameritrans expanding their operation in Elkhart. We are proud of the success they have experienced in our community,” said Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore. “This is another vote of confidence in our skilled workforce, our network of quality suppliers and our strategic location. It is proof that Elkhart is a prime location for manufacturing.”

Bolstered by growth of the area’s manufacturing industry, companies like Ameritrans helped Elkhart County lead the nation in job growth in 2012, increasing employment 7.4 percent across the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.