Compounding firm EnCom Polymers Inc. is spending almost $11 million to expand in its hometown of Evansville, Ind.
The move will create 42 new jobs by 2021, officials said in a July 17 news release. EnCom is buying its 58,000-square-foot leased headquarters site for $2.4 million. The firm also will spend $8.3 million on production and lab equipment to move its production in-house.
"I would describe what we're doing as limited backwards integration," Chairman and CEO Rick Kaskel said in a telephone interview.
Since being founded in 2001, EnCom had used toll compounders to produce compounds that it would market and sell. The first production line in Evansville — a twin-screw extruder with annual production capacity of 4 million pounds — will be operational in September, officials said.
"We'll still use some toll compounding. We'd never be able to do it all ourselves because we've been growing so fast." Kaskel said.
EnCom currently employs 14 in Evansville and will add 42 more positions in the next three years. Seventeen of those jobs are expected to be filled by the end of the year in manufacturing and professional services.
Kaskel added that five years ago he put together a detailed business plan that included assembling the best management team he could find. With that goal in mind, the firm recently promoted Larry Beard to president and hired Tim Henn as chief financial officer. Beard has been with EnCom since 2014 and has 25 years of overall industry experience.
EnCom now plans to add one additional extrusion line per year for the next four years. The firm also plans to open a second building covering 50,000 square feet by the end of 2022.
Kaskel had been EnCom's sole owner, but he now shares ownership with Beard, who has a minority stake in the firm. Kaskel added that the firm's biggest challenge might be finding workers in the Evansville market, which has a low unemployment rate and already is home to several compounding firms.
To assist with the project, EnCom also is receiving up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. These incentives are based on the company's job creation and investment plans and are performance-based, meaning EnCom isn't eligible to claim them until jobs are filled, IEDC officials said in the release.
In addition to the IEDC tax credits, EnCom is receiving a seven-year tax phase-in on real and personal property investments and a grant for up to $25,000 for training assistance from the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville.
EnCom's markets include automotive, utilities, consumer goods and power lawn and garden equipment. The firm mainly produces compounds based on engineering resins, primarily polycarbonate, polybutylene terephthalate and nylon 6 and 6/6. Kaskel said all of the firm's compounds are formulated with prime resins.