Evansville, Ind. — Haier America said Monday that it plans to locate its North American Tech Center here, creating 50 new high-wage jobs by 2015.
Haier America, which has local headquarters in New Jersey, said it plans to initially establish a new 30,000-square-foot product research and development tech center in Evansville.
Facility renovations are to begin immediately, and the new tech center is expected to open early next year.
The center will focus on support and development for Haier's North American market including appliances, home comfort products and home entertainment products.
Haier America said it currently employs more than 300 associates across the country, with its parent Haier employing more than 70,000 people around the world.
Haier America plans to begin hiring engineers, designers, lab techs, model makers and other professionals this fall.
“As the world's number one appliance manufacturer, Haier's strategy has been to establish localized R&D and manufacturing bases that allow the company to support each regions' specifics needs,” stated Adrian Micu, Haier America president and CEO. “Evansville has an established infrastructure and workforce that we believe will allow us to quickly and successfully build out a tech center focused on designing products tailored for the unique experiences of the U.S. consumer.”
According to the statement announcing the move, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Haier America Trading up to $1,400,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $450,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans.
The tax credits are performance-based, meaning the incentives cannot be claimed until locals are actually hired.
The city of Evansville is also offering Haier incentives.
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke stated, “Today's announcement is also a symbolic victory for our region and signifies a re-emergence in the appliance industry in a city with a strong manufacturing history of producing refrigerators and large appliances. It is our combined goal that Haier is successful and continues to create more jobs through creation of a world-class tech center in Evansville and the expansion of product delivery in North America.”
Evansville, which is Indiana's third-largest city, is said to offer business leaders and employees affordable housing, accessibility and good public and private schools, including the Signature School, ranked the top high school in the Midwest and seventh in the nation by Newsweek.
Indiana, specifically in the Indianapolis area, had long been the U.S. base of operations for research and development operations, sales and marketing and even some manufacturing for S.A. Thomson’s former RCA CE businesses. It was later used for a while as the U.S. sales and marketing offices for TCL’s U.S. TV operations, during the Chinese manufacturers’ brief stint as the RCA brand licensee for TVs.
TCL now markets TV’s under its own brand out of U.S. offices in Corona, Calif.