Swiss-based auto supplier plant to create 220 jobs in Jeff - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Swiss-based auto supplier plant to create 220 jobs in Jeffersonville

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A Swiss-based supplier plans to offer such opportunities at a new facility going up in Jeffersonville's River Ridge Commerce Center. A Swiss-based supplier plans to offer such opportunities at a new facility going up in Jeffersonville's River Ridge Commerce Center.
Wendy Dant Chesser Wendy Dant Chesser

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - How would you like to earn about $40,000 a year making parts that go into Kentuckiana-made Fords, Hondas and Toyotas? A Swiss-based supplier plans to offer such opportunities at a new facility going up in Jeffersonville's River Ridge Commerce Center.

Swiss-based Autoneum keeps most of what it makes under wraps, figuratively and literally.

"They make your car ride quieter and lighter," Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said Wednesday.

The company website touts a product line ranging from engine compartment coverings to heat shields to sound dampeners. So it may be fitting that the black wrap around a 23-acre site in the River Ridge Commerce Center offered the first signs that Autoneum was building a production facility in Jeffersonville.

"As gets go, this is a big one," said Wendy Dant Chesser, President & CEO of economic developer and business recruiter One Southern Indiana.

The facility would be Autoneum's 13th in North America with 300,000 square feet under roof. That's about the size of three Sam's Wholesale Clubs, but roughly a third as large as its high-profile neighbor, Amazon. But, on average, an Autoneum worker will earn 50 percent more than his/her counterpart at the Amazon Fulfillment Center.

"These are not minimum wage jobs," Moore said. "Nineteen dollars an hour. They're stepping up from apartment living to buying a new home."

Autoneum has committed to creating more than 220 jobs and begin production in 2015, according to a news release issued through One Southern Indiana

"The more skills you have with manufacturing and experience, probably the better off you're going to be in getting those skilled jobs," Chesser said.

WAVE 3 News has been unable to reach Autoneum's corporate communications director, Dr. Anahid Rickmann. Chesser said site selectors have not told her specifically why they chose Jeffersonville over competition bids from Kentucky and Michigan - other than they favored Indiana's Workers Compensation laws.

"They're eligible for up to $2 million total of tax credits," Chesser said. "But they're performance-based, depending upon how many workers they hire."

Autoneum's customers include Ford, Honda and Toyota. All have assembly plants nearby, either in Kentucky or Indiana.

"I'm certain our (under-construction) East Bridge had something to do with it," Chesser said. "You combine that with rail and barge, and you have a SuperFecta for transportation."

Autoneum hasn't specified when hiring might commence, or even when it might begin vetting applications.

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