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The Honda plant in Greensburg plans to hire 300 new employees later this year as it prepares for an increase in production.
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana LLC announced Wednesday that it is investing $40 million to increase annual production capacity by 50,000 vehicles to 250,000 vehicles starting early next year.
The plant will add production of the Civic Hybrid. It already produces the Civic sedan, Civic natural gas vehicle and the Acura ILX Hybrid.
Demand for the Civic sedan is driving the creation of the new jobs, Honda spokeswoman Anita Sipes said.
“It’s been selling really well the last several months,” she said.
Honda also has been able to increase production and get more cars on dealership lots after recovering from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year, Sipes said.
The Greensburg plant produces about 800 cars per day and will increase to 1,000 cars per day by next year.
The $40 million investment will go toward modifying the plant, including new welding robots and extended paint-drying ovens.
The 300 new jobs will support existing processes in about every major production area, including stamping, welding, painting, plastic injection molding, subassembly and final assembly operations.
New production associates will start out earning $15.44 per hour and can progress to $19.30 per hour in two years. They will work 40-hour weeks, Monday through Friday, on shifts that rotate every two weeks between day and night hours.
The company has about 2,000 workers in Greensburg now.
Employees will be hired from 20 Indiana counties including Decatur and its surrounding counties. Sipes said Honda has committed to hiring Hoosier workers and wants employees who can drive an hour or less to work.
Marc Coplon, executive director of the Greensburg/Decatur County Economic Development Corp., said the additional jobs could improve the county’s unemployment rate of slightly more than 8 percent.
“I certainly hope that there will be some jobs that are created for Decatur County residents,” Coplon said.
The community will benefit from having more people working in the city, said Jeff Emsweller, director of the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce.
“Obviously we would like to have those folks living in the community,” Emsweller said. “But even if they drive into Greensburg, they’re still spending their money here.”
The additional capacity at the Greensburg plant also will result in increased purchasing from the more than 200 suppliers that manufacture parts and components for the plant’s production, mostly located in the Midwest.
Emsweller said he hopes that more Honda suppliers will look at Decatur County as a possible place to do business.
The jobs announcement Wednesday comes months after Honda Manufacturing of Indiana started a second shift of production last fall that added about 1,000 jobs.
“We are excited that they’ve made their commitment come through,” Emsweller said.
How to apply
What: Honda’s Greensburg plant plans to add 300 jobs.
Pay: $15.44 per hour, progressing to $19.30 in two years.
Hours: 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, with shift rotating every two weeks between day and night hours.
Apply online: indiana.honda.com.
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