Construction on a unique, quality of life enhancing project in Marshall County, known as the Early Childhood Learning Center, has reached the halfway point. This development will serve as an invaluable workforce development solution by providing affordable, high quality pre-K education and childcare to encourage more parents to join the workforce.
The highly anticipated Aquatic Center in Plymouth is on track to be finished August 2019, just in time for the start of Plymouth Community School Corporations 2019-2020 school year. Construction is roughly 25% finished with three walls already up, and the south wall being built. Concrete work is continuing with some of the bleachers in place. Steel truss for the roof are also being installed.
For 11 years, Marshall County Economic Development Corporation has endeavored to expand and diversify the economy and grow our community. This year, we have engaged in innovative planning and transformative projects that have touched every city and town in Marshall County. The following is a small sample of these efforts.
The Marshall County Crossroads regional Stellar initiative has brought remarkable results for the entire region by developing a plan based on the shared goals of connecting, collaborating, and creating. Although Marshall County was not designated a Stellar community, several projects within the plan are planned to move forward in the coming year. When implemented, this plan will raise quality of place and improve quality of life for area residents.
American Containers, Inc., headquartered in Plymouth, has just announced their third expansion in 4 years. The company plans to invest nearly $1.2 million in equipment to improve production capabilities and maintain their position as a valued Plymouth manufacturer.
Marshall Countys Stellar presentation kicked off with something speciala promotional video highlighting what makes our community Stellar. The short film shows Marshall County successes through their work on our Regional Cities application and nearly 6 years of community planning county-wide.
After 7 months of collaboration, 15 steering committee meetings, and 2 public workshops, Marshall County has completed the final step in the Stellar application process. On November 15th, the steering committee traveled to Indianapolis to present the final plan, consisting of 16 Stellar projects and 13 complimentary projects. These projects have an estimated $35 million capital expenditure and a $156 million return on investment.
Plymouth and Marshall County have reached an important milestone in a project that will address community needs, attract families, and improve the local economy. On October 22nd, the Plymouth Common Council approved a tax abatement for Marshall County Life Center, Inc. which will support the Early Childhood Learning Center. This development broke ground on July 18th and construction is well underway with the floor poured, panels erected, and the roof installed.
Bomarko, Inc., a global leader in the flexible packaging products industry will be investing $5 million to expand their business in Plymouth. This plan is expected to solidify their presence in the community for many years to come due to the amount invested and their strategic long-range plan. The capital investment will include an estimated $2 million for a 20,000 square foot building addition and $3 million to purchase a new printing press.
This year, students from Argos and Culver schools participated in Manufacturing Day for the first time. This growth demonstrates how Marshall Countys Workforce Development Student Engagement Program is blossoming across the county. The event, held on October 10th and 11th, builds our future workforce through youth engagement to meet the needs of local businesses.
Marshall County employers are asking for more opportunities to connect with local students, because they will soon be the next generation of workers. The Marshall County Economic Development Corporation is responding to this request to engage the youth with a unique event. On October 10th, eleven area businesses opened their facilities to host tours for over 280 Plymouth High School students as part of Manufacturing Day.
One of the most pressing needs for employers in Marshall County and Indiana is access to a skilled workforce. To meet this need, the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation is taking steps to engage the youth with area businesses and Bremen Public Schools. This goal of reaching out to students is resonating in Bremen where on October 10th, over 490 high school students participated in Manufacturing Day.
Marshall County is near the end of an intense process leveraging public engagement and years of planning to create an over 110-page comprehensive plan aimed at improving quality of life. On September 21st, the Marshall County Crossroads Stellar Initiative team officially submitted the Regional Development Plan (RDP) to the Stellar selection committee. Since being named a finalist in April, Marshall County has held 10 steering committee meetings, formed 4 subcommittees, conducted 2 surveys, and held 2 public workshops.
At a press conference on September 5th, Governor Holcomb reviled that a long-awaited interchange will be created at the intersection of U.S. 31 and S.R. 10 in Argos. The Argos community has collaborated widely to secure this interchange, earning support from local and state leadership. This project is estimated to be completed by 2023.
Training is one of the most important needs for incumbent workers according to Marshall County employers, as determined through MCEDCs recent employer interviews on workforce development issues. To address this need, Ancilla College and MCEDC partnered together last fall to work with local businesses and launch the Ancilla College Management and Leadership Training program. In the past year, Ancilla has provided training for four local organizations. Southwire is the most recent business to go through the program; twelve leaders have completed coursework so far, with more expected to register in the future.
Plymouth has demonstrated its strength as a business-friendly community by quickly attracting a new manufacturer to occupy the building left by a food processor in 2017. The new startup, Winona Building Products will produce high-quality, environmentally friendly insulation facings and vapor retarders. Winona will open with a product launch in November 2018. In the next few months, the company will invest approximately $9 million in equipment and building improvements. By the first quarter of 2019, Winona expects to have created 40 new jobs.
Public engagement is vital in securing Stellar designation. Our community exceeded expectations when nearly one hundred leaders came together on July 26th to give feedback and enhance the countys Stellar application. Marshall County was selected as one of the six finalists for the Stellar Regional Designation earlier this year.
Seventeen entities and organizations came together to develop a creative and unique financing plan for two projects. These efforts reflect a bold statement of investing in the City of Plymouth and Marshall Countys future. The projects, the Aquatic Center and Early Childhood Learning Center, broke ground on July 18th with over one hundred of interested citizens in attendance, representing county-wide support.
Culvers latest Stellar project, the Damore Amphitheater, is a testament to the strength of the Culver community in advancing quality of life. The amphitheater, located along Lake Maxinkuckee, will be a hub of art and culture for the community. The grand opening, held on July 12th, was standing room only as the community joined together to celebrate the completion of this project.
The Plymouth business community has asked for unique housing opportunities to attract young professionals to the area. River Gate South is the first new apartment complex to be built in many years to address these needs. While the apartments are on track to be completed later this year, several Hard Hat tours are being offered to potential residents this summer.