NORTH JUDSON – Outstanding Tradeshow Exhibit Services (OTES), a full-service designer and manufacturer of tradeshow exhibits, announced plans today to relocate its operations from Romeoville, Illinois, to North Judson, Indiana.
“By moving to Indiana, OTES is choosing to grow in the top state in the Midwest for doing business,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Here in Indiana, we’ve balanced our state budget while cutting taxes and red tape. By keeping the state affordable and investing in quality-of-place initiatives, Indiana is attracting out-of-state companies like OTES because our environment allows job creators to grow with confidence. We are excited to welcome OTES to the Hoosier state and look forward to the company’s continued success in a state that works.”
The company will invest $1.2 million to purchase, renovate and equip a 74,000-square-foot facility at 5235 W. State Road 10 in North Judson. Infrastructure-related renovations, which include the installation of a new roof, plumbing and electrical systems, are currently underway, and OTES plans to launch its Indiana operations early next year. The company will occupy nearly two-thirds of the facility and lease the remaining space to other area businesses. The company’s new operating area will provide significantly more space than it has now in Illinois, giving it room to expand its carpentry and graphics workshops.
As part of its growth, OTES plans to create up to 15 Indiana jobs by 2019 with average salaries exceeding the Starke County average wage by more than 40 percent. The company currently employs eight full-time associates, some of whom will also relocate to North Judson. OTES plans to begin hiring next spring for carpentry, graphic design, sales, account management and maintenance positions. Interested applicants may apply at Professional Employment Partners in Knox, Indiana.
“Fiscally, Indiana is a better fit for my growing company,” said Nan Wellman, founder and president of OTES. “It will be nice to be part of a community where every job created helps benefit an area in need of employment opportunities for the betterment of the people who live there. Not to mention I was born and raised in Indiana, so it will be great to be back home in Indiana again!”
Founded in 2012, OTES got its start in the garage of the company’s founder, Nan Wellman. As demand for tradeshow booths increased from the military, medical, mining, educational, food and houseware industries, the company grew in rented facilities before making the decision to purchase a new home in Indiana. The company produces custom tradeshow booths, which can be purchased or rented, for clients around the world, including United Kingdom-based Babcock International Group, Australia-based Noja Power, New Jersey-based Hutchinson Industries and Alabama-based Perkins Technical Services.
More than 50 Illinois-based companies have worked with the IEDC since its creation in 2005 to relocate some or all of their operations to Indiana, together pledging to create more than 5,000 new Hoosier jobs. Last year, Hoist Liftruck moved from Bedford Park, Illinois, to East Chicago, Indiana, with plans to create 500 Hoosier jobs. In June, AMKUS Rescue Systems announced its relocation from Downers Grove, Illinois, to Valparaiso, Indiana, which will create 20 new Hoosier jobs, and last month, Enjoy Life Foods relocated its Schiller Park, Illinois, production and distribution operations to Jeffersonville, Indiana, which will create 200 new Indiana jobs.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Outstanding Tradeshow Exhibit Services Inc. up to $115,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of North Judson approved additional incentives at the request of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation.
“I am thrilled that North Judson and the Starke County Economic Development Foundation were able to attract another quality firm to join the North Judson community,” said Wendy Hoppe, president of the North Judson Town Council. “Nan Wellman’s decision to relocate OTES to North Judson is another example of the success Women Business Enterprises are finding in relocating to or expanding in Starke County.”
By choosing to move to Indiana, OTES is launching operations in a state that has added 156,800 new jobs since January 2013. Indiana’s labor force is at its largest size ever, with private sector employment standing above its previous peak for 14 consecutive months. Meanwhile, Indiana’s unemployment rate fell last month to 4.5 percent, which is below the national average.