New food processing plant eyes New Castle IN

More than 250 jobs in pipeline for city along Interstate 70

By Rick Yencer

NEW CASTLE, INDIANA (NEWS) -  Corey Murphy offered some great economic news to partisans Saturday giving the Henry County community hope for more income and jobs.

A large food processing company is looking at land along a county road near Interstate 70 that could start with 250 jobs and then add 100 more.

It is the kind of development, said Murphy, president and CEO of the New Castle Henry County Economic Development Corp;, that would bring prosperity again like TS Tech, a Honda seat manufacturer, that employs nearly 400 people.

Murphy, the community's salesman, also offered some details about a new shooting range near the interstate and next to the Motor Sports Park. And he believed Gilman Lumber of Batesville might put in a new business after Carter Lumber closed, leaving the city without  a building supply outlet.

Partisans at the local Democratic Party headquarters in the old United Auto Workers hall on Main Street agreed that progress was continuing under Mayor Greg York's administration and the Democratic controlled city council.

But Murphy said both sides of the partisan fence, including the Republican controlled county government, worked together for the good of the community.

He pointed out countless stories about how community leaders funded a new Ivy Tech Community College instead of waiting for lawmakers to appropriate money. And that same community spirit funded and built a new YMCA to improve fitness and health among residents.

"We do it ourselves," said Murphy.

Murphy was optimistic that the food processing plant would become reality as steps already are being taken to acquire the land.

"We certainly hope this is green lighted," he said.

New Castle, like other central Indiana communities, based its economy on the auto industry and had a large Chrysler plant providing jobs and income. That plant was closed and a Forbes 500 company, Crown, still operates the facility but with only 100 employees.

Murphy thought that company might also be creating some more jobs, given some growth with that corporation.

The economic development specialist pointed out how New Castle was blessed by transportation with Interstate 70 running through the county besides a major state highway, Ind 3, also intersecting it.

The community also has improved test scores and graduation rates in local public schools, and Murphy hoped for more training for skilled labor and technical skills through the state or Ivy Tech.



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