ANDERSON, Ind. - Anderson is celebrating new jobs that came more quickly than expected, and they're auto industry jobs, something many Anderson residents thought they'd never see again.
Six months ago, what’s now an operating plant turning out auto parts was an empty field.
Molded plastic grill and dashboard parts for Honda's Greensburg plant are rolling off the lines at the plant, which is owned by Greenville Technology, Incorporated.
GTI is a subsidiary of Moriroku Technology, a 350-year-old Japanese company with close ties to Honda.
When then-Gov. Mitch Daniels broke ground at the site in July, few expected the ribbon-cutting would happen this soon.
But the new governor, Mike Pence, was there Friday to help snip the purple ribbon signifying the beginning of operations.
Plant manager Jon Adams said, "As you can see behind me, we are now installing state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, state-of-the-art systems. We're training our wonderful associates, and we're now shipping products to Honda Manufacturing of Indiana."
Adams said GTI is now focusing on the human side.
It has 55 employees, a number that will grow to more than 200 by the end of the year, and 325 by 2016.
"We have giant smiles, remarkable personalities, and a passionate work ethic,” said Adams. “We have a prideful sense of team."
Pence, making his first jobs swing since taking office, told GTI officials they will never regret having chosen Anderson, and he said the plant is proof that manufacturing is enjoying a resurgence in both Indiana and Anderson.
"Manufacturing never left Indiana," Pence said. "But a growing manufacturing economy is back in Indiana. And it will continue to grow from this day."
Right now a sample of the parts produced at the new plant fits on a small table, but by the end of the year, with a lot more equipment installed, they hope to be producing up to 100 different parts.