A leading manufacturer of professional power tools chose Greenwood as the location for its first Indiana service hub.
Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. will open in a 150,000-square-foot warehouse at the Southtech Business Park in Greenwood by March 2021. The Brookfield, Wisconsin-based company is a manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools, hand tools, storage and accessories for professional construction trades worldwide.
“Greenwood is really nicely positioned in the middle of the industrial heartland,” said Steve Bettwy, director of service operations for Milwaukee Tool.
The company will bring more than 450 new jobs to Greenwood, as well as training opportunities through partnerships with the Central Nine Career Center and Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. Milwaukee Tool plans to invest $6.75 million in the Greenwood facility, with a portion of that money going to training.
“We really liked the investment Greenwood has been making in itself, turning it into a livable and workable city,” Bettwy said. “That’s going to bring a level of talent and workforce that you don’t get from an industrial park on the side of a highway somewhere.”
The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission unanimously approved a project agreement between the city and company Tuesday evening.
Mayor Mark Myers is excited that Milwaukee Tool chose Greenwood for its Indiana service hub, he said. This company, along with the Amazon and FedEx facilities in the city, are proof that Greenwood is constantly growing, he said.
“We do have the employee base that they need, that all these companies are looking for. A lot of people are moving to the southside. The jobs are here, and it’s great for our community,” Myers said.
The service hub will house warehouse space and a repair service building, where local customers can place orders or bring in their tools for warranty services and repairs, Bettwy said.
“Literally everything we make, we’ll be able to service in here,” he said.
The city and state offered Milwaukee Tool more than $5 million in incentives. Greenwood offered the company $78,000 in cash incentives, according to the project agreement.
Additionally, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation will offer Milwaukee Tool up to $4.5 million in conditional tax credits and up to $500,000 in training grants, due to the company’s plans to create more than 450 new jobs by 2025. The incentives are performance based, meaning Milwaukee Tool will only receive the benefits if the company performs as it has promised, according to the project agreement.
Milwaukee Tool plans to rent the building off Graham Road, just east of Interstate 65, that finished construction this year as a speculative building by Carmel-based developer Becknell Industrial. Becknell received a 10-year real property tax break of $1.5 million for the project in 2017, according to city documents. Milwaukee Tool will not benefit directly from that tax break, city officials said Tuesday.
Through the Ivy Tech partnership, Milwaukee Tool plans to hire and train 100 employees before the service hub opens its doors in March, Bettwy said. Ivy Tech has allowed the company to “tap into its programs” to train a workforce, he said.
The company will use a facility at Ivy Tech to train its workforce in advance. There, they will learn skills to repair tools and run the company’s systems, Bettwy said. Employees will learn everything from mechanical and electrical skills to troubleshooting and critical thinking.
“Our folks will be repairing tools and they’ll be working the systems … all those critical things they will have to know once we open our doors,” Bettwy said.
Milwaukee Tool also plans to partner with Central Nine, which is located in Greenwood but serves students in Johnson and Marion counties, to offer similar opportunities to high school students, Bettwy said.
“We like the idea of finding those students who college may not be for them … and helping them with those work study programs or the training they might need to go out into any other trades,” he said.