KOKOMO – After a six-year vacancy, the pottery factory on North Union Street has a new occupant, with plans to create 140 new production, engineering and management jobs over the next two years. Patriot Porcelain, LLC will use the facility to manufacture high-quality sanitary products, including toilets and sinks.
The factory was shut down in 2007 when the building’s previous occupants outsourced the work to China and laid off its staff. This project represents the return of these high-quality porcelain manufacturing jobs to Kokomo, and to the United States.
Patriot Porcelain is a new private-label vitreous china manufacturer. The company purchased the building, and is investing more than $16 million in new equipment for the operation and facility upgrades, with funding provided by First Farmers Bank and Trust, the City of Kokomo’s Revolving Loan Fund program, and private investment.
“It gives me tremendous pleasure to welcome Patriot Porcelain to our community,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “This project will bring quality jobs back to the United States and the Kokomo community, and will restore new life to an existing property.”
Patriot Porcelain’s products will bear the “Made in America” stamp. The company states that its centralized, modern production facility and up-to-date technology will allow it to provide customers with American-made products, product flexibility and quick response time to market demands, at a lower price than similar products now produced in China.
“This project brings significant new jobs and investment, activates a vacant space, and helps diversify our local economy,” said Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance (GKEDA) President and CEO Chris Hamm. “This is a home run project for Kokomo.”
“We are incredibly pleased that our business has found a home in Kokomo,” said Jeff Van Weelden, Chairman of the Board of Managers of Patriot Porcelain. “This is the result of years of effort, and a strong partnership between our business, First Farmers Bank, GKEDA and the City of Kokomo. Kokomo’s strong support, business-friendly climate and high-quality of life made it the perfect location for this new venture.”
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