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Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County

County with a Heart Helps to Create 85 New Jobs On Valentine’s Day

Feb 13, 2009

Elkhart County, Ind. –The Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County (EDC of Elkhart County) announced Saturday at the Elkhart County Council meeting that Izzy, located just outside of Middlebury, Indiana, is expanding with 45 new jobs being added to its existing manufacturing base of 140 workers.

“This announcement comes as a breath of fresh air amidst the recent layoffs and closures we’ve experienced in the RV industry. Elkhart County is open for business,” stated President of the EDC of Elkhart County, Dorinda Heiden-Guss. “Due to the challenging economic times across the globe, company expansions and job creations are very welcome at this time. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation worked hand-in-hand with the EDC of Elkhart County to make this project happen,” stated Heiden-Guss.

The EDC of Elkhart County presented the incentive package to the council today for approval that included funding available through Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Skills Enhancement Funds (SEF), Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit, Hoosier Business Investment Tax Credit considerations, as well as tax phase-in incentives provided by the Elkhart County Council.

The fact that Elkhart is open for business could not have been more apparent on Saturday as the Elkhart County Council voted to support a five-year tax phase-in for Izzy. A business of JSJ Corporation, Izzy operates a commercial chair manufacturing facility located just outside of Middlebury, Indiana.

“We appreciate this vote of support from area government, economic and business leaders, and look forward to expanding our operations in Elkhart County,” said Clare Wade, a company spokeswoman. “JSJ and Izzy are focused on the long-term growth of this business.”

The expansion will create 45 new jobs in the first year and 85 jobs over the next two years. The expansion will begin in April of 2009. The incentive package will help the company retain its 140 employees as it expands with 85 additional employees. The expansion incentive package consists of building improvements, machine purchases, and computer hardware and software technology improvements.

The facility has produced furniture in Elkhart County since 1927 under the Harter brand name. The Harter Group was established in 1927 just outside of Middlebury, Indiana. Harter designed, engineered and manufactured from its Elkhart County location and flourished through the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. Jami, Inc., a holding company, purchased The Harter Group in 1995, keeping the Harter brand name. In 2008, Izzy and its parent company JSJ Corporation purchased Jami, Inc. and will continue to produce commercial, office and consumer furniture from Elkhart County under the Harter brand name.

Elkhart County Councilman, Dave Foutz, stated at the meeting, “This proves once again that our strong work ethic and excellent logistical location make Elkhart County a great place to both retain and attract great companies. ”

The EDC of Elkhart County is a not-for-profit, 501 C-3 organization. The EDC is comprised of business and community leaders in Elkhart County dedicated to maintaining and growing a diverse economic base. For more information about this marketing organization, please call (574) 535-1002, e-mail or visit their website at