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Co-Op Energy Savings Help Factory Regain Production

For decades, the Delta Faucet Plant was a major manufacturing asset to the Greensburg community, located in Decatur County, Indiana. Company founder Alex Manoogian opened the plant in 1959., and the facility at 1425 W. Main Street peaked at 1,300 employees while producing an array of upgraded faucet and bath components within bustling 380,000 sq. ft. facility.

But in the late 90s, Delta opened a new plant in Jackson, TN, and many production processes were transferred from Greensburg, the first sign that the older building's long term viability might be in question. Fortunately for the Decatur County community, production at the plant continued on for many years, until the economic fallout of 2009. Massive layoffs followed in Greensburg, and thereafter the Delta pant continued minimal operations with a reduced crew of 140, and large sections of facility were shut down or rented out to other manufacturers.

Recently though, through a series of initiatives by Delta Faucet personnel, energy efficiency incentives from Decatur County REMC- the local electric cooperative, and with incentive support from the local government, the Decatur County Council, good news is in the headlines for the Delta facility.

Rural Electric Cooperative Incentives Provide Assistance

Decatur County REMC provides industrial consumers with a variety of tools, designed to help customers improve power efficiency. The co-op relies upon their power supplier, Hoosier Energy, to send Key Account Manager Jim Wittman to visit the plant. Decatur County REMC and Hoosier have developed a wide variety of energy efficiency incentives that can be used to create substantial energy savings throughout industrial plants. Targets for efficiency range form light to HVAC to motors to air compressors to customized options that address unique needs in many operations.

Starting in 2010, local workers at Delta partnered with their suppliers, including their local REMC and Hoosier Energy, to participate in a series of "energy blitzes" to find ways to identify and correct energy problems at Delta. "All participants were divided into teams with each team looking at a specific utility or part of the plant. We considered every opportunity to reduce energy use and improve efficiency in the plant, not only with electricity, but gas, steam, water and sewer," Wittman said. Based on the blitzes, Delta personnel made numerous improvements; they streamlined their high-end powder coating application, reducing costs for the plant, for example. They also replaced outdated lights with more efficient fluorescents, and applied reflective paint to active areas. Significantly, rebates from the cooperative have been used to replace nearly 450 light fixtures throughout the plant, providing substantial savings.

In the Spring of 2013, Decatur County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Executive Director Marc Coplon received a surprising phone call. He could barely contain his excitement when a representative from Masco (Delta's parent company) told him they were looking to ramp up the Greensburg plant with additional jobs averaging $18.50 an hour by the end of 2014.

Rick Marshall, vice president of operations and supply chain management at Delta, confirmed that at the Greensburg facility, new processes have been added to support bathtub and shower products, and that the company's overall investment in new equipment and infrastructure has been approximately $12M.

Local and State Incentives Bring Jobs Back to the Community

"The incentives provided by local community and state were an important part of the decision to re-invest in the Greensburg facility," said Marshall. "The Indiana EDC offered up to $1M in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning that until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives."

Decatur County approved additional tax abatement at the request of the Greensburg- Decatur EDC; the County Council gave five year tax abatements that will help Delta by deferring collections of $270,910 of property taxes on the new equipment and building improvements. Coplon is extremely pleased with turn of events, and confirms that the company has gone forward with hiring. The Greensburg facility has hired production members, assemblers, material handlers, maintenance and quality technicians, engineers, team leaders, and support associates as they grow toward a commitment to fill up to 160 new jobs.

Delta Faucet Company is an international manufacturer of kitchen and bath faucets, shower heads, hand showers, bathing and shower systems, toilets and related accessories. Learn more about the company and its job opportunities at www.deltafaucetcompany.com/jobs.