MARCH 5 I E.K. BLESSING I EXPANSION E.K. Blessing Adds
E.K. Blessing recently made plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Elkhart, Ind. The initiative will create as many as 22 new jobs by 2012.
The brass instrument maker, which was acquired by Verne Q. Powell Flutes in October 2009, will invest more than $2.6 million to relocate its brass instrument production from Germany and Taiwan to Indiana. As part of the expansion, E.K. Blessing will move to a larger facility, which previously housed Damon Motor Coach, in May.
The company has plans to expand its marching and background brass line to include manufacturing euphoniums, baritones, tubas and French horns. Hiring additional manufacturing associates will coincide with the new production introductions.
“Blessing is now the only musical instrument maker that is producing all its instruments in Elkhart,” said Steven Wasser, president of Verne Q. Powell Flutes. “Our management team is comprised of highly successful industry veterans, and our first executive decision was to discontinue all Blessing products that were being imported from Asia. We value the many skilled musical instrument makers in Elkhart and the wonderful support that has been demonstrated by local officials.”
E.K. Blessing received federal, state and local incentives for the expansion. The Elkhart County Commissioners approved the company’s $2.5 million request for federal stimulus funding. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered E.K. Blessing up to $40,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $6,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The Elkhart City Council has preliminarily approved a property tax phase-in, and the Elkhart County Commissioners will also provide Recovery Zone Facility bonds at the request of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.
“With a world of options available, E.K. Blessing chose Indiana as its centralized production location, and that speaks volumes for the global attention our state’s business climate continues to receive,” said Mitch Rood, Indiana secretary of commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. MI