Cummins Inc. on Friday, June 10, announced that it will add 600 new professional employees in a new office building in downtown Columbus, Ind. The announcement is the third expansion project in southern Indiana announced by Cummins in the past year. Once the new building is filled, in 2013, Cummins will employ nearly 3,000 professionals in a two-block area of downtown Columbus, three times its local presence in 2008.
“Our success in global markets over the past few years allowed us to remain strong during the recent economic downturn and has positioned the company for a period of accelerated growth,” says Tom Linebarger, Cummins president and chief operating officer, who announced the new expansion at an event attended by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence and several state and local officials.
The company expects to break ground almost immediately on the new facility at the corner of Jackson and Fourth streets, a block south of the company’s corporate headquarters. The 130,000-square-foot building will connect to a similarly sized office building that Cummins began occupying in 2009. The ground floor of the new building, facing Fourth Street, will be converted into commercial space with plans for additional downtown restaurants to be located at the site.
In order to provide parking for these new employees and the employees moving into the former First Financial property Cummins purchased earlier this year, an 800-space parking garage will be constructed along Jackson Street, between Sixth and Seventh streets, for use by Cummins employees during daytime working hours and for the community at all other times. The city has also agreed to provide $1 million to Cummins to use for the Community Education Coalition’s education improvement initiatives.
Cummins reported its most profitable year in company history in 2010, largely on the strength of growth in large international markets such as China, India and Brazil. The company expects further strong growth in 2011 as its key U.S. markets recover from the economic downturn, as part of a period of accelerated profitable growth over the next several years.
“As Cummins continues to grow and prosper around the world, our headquarters city and state also benefit,” Linebarger says. “These well-paying professional jobs will be crucial as we chart a course for future growth both here and abroad, and also will add to the vitality and diversity of Columbus.”
In addition to Friday’s announcement, Cummins has made two other jobs-related announcements in Indiana in the past year:
• In July 2010, Cummins announced a $200 million expansion of its Seymour Engine Plant to create a technical center and manufacturing line to design and produce a new high-horsepower engine. The expansion is expected to result in 200 new technical jobs over the next three years and further job growth once the new engine goes into production; and
• In October 2010, Cummins announced plans to purchase the former First Financial bank office and branch in downtown Columbus across the street from the company’s corporate headquarters to use as office space. Cummins since has closed on the property and expects to have 350 employees in the facility by the end of this year.