Cummins to expand presence in Columbus, Ind., by 500 workers

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Cummins Inc. announced Wednesday, Jan. 23, that it will add about 500 professional employees, many of them engineers, in Columbus, Ind., over the next two years, and has agreed to lease an office building being built as part of the Commons Mall redevelopment project to meet the expected growth.

The four-story 100,000-square-foot building is scheduled to be completed late in the first quarter of 2009. The project also includes a parking garage for Cummins employees to be built on property just southwest of the office building.

“We are pleased to be able to further strengthen our commitment to Columbus and the state of Indiana by bringing new well-paying jobs to the region,” said Joe Loughrey, Cummins president and chief operating officer. “As a large and growing employer in the city, we have a significant stake in helping Columbus remain a vibrant community. This project, along with the other initiatives outlined as part of the city’s Vision 2020 plan, is a big step in that direction.”

Cummins currently has about 5,500 employees in Columbus, along with an additional 900 contract workers. The new space, two blocks from the company’s headquarters, will allow Cummins to consolidate its employees in fewer locations in the city and make room for new workers expected as part of Cummins’ growth plans.

The ability to provide sufficient parking for Cummins employees was a significant factor in the company’s decision to locate the office building in downtown Columbus. The garage is expected to cost about $8 million, with the city of Columbus paying $4 million of the cost and the City of Lawrenceburg Regional Economic Development Fund providing a $3 million grant for the project. At the request of Cummins, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. agreed to provide the City of Columbus a $1 million grant to assist in the cost of the infrastructure improvements associated with the new project.

The announcement builds on Cummins’ recent growth in the Columbus area, including the decision to locate its new light-duty diesel program at the Columbus engine plant; that program is expected to result in at least 600 new jobs by the end of the decade. “Last year 600 new production jobs, this year 500 new professional jobs,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels, who attended Wednesday’s announcement. “We’re proud of Cummins and the growth the company is bringing to south central Indiana.”