DECATUR — A new plant in Decatur manufactures railway and construction products with materials similar to elastic, its owner said Tuesday.
The company is located at 815 E. Kenwood Ave. and has three employees, a spokesperson said. Owners expect to add a second shift by the end of the year, which would add three more workers.
Getzner USA, Inc., said Tuesday that the Decatur facility would be its first production site in North America, making products that include elastic bearings for railway traffic and products for the bedding of buildings. The company is the American subsidiary of Austria-based Getzner Werkstoff, and makes polyurethane materials for protection against vibration and noise.
Macon County building permits from January show that Getzner USA, Inc. invested $295,000 in an office and manufacturing buildout at the site earlier this year.
Ryan McCrady, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County, said the organization did assist Getzner in coming to Decatur, although he said he couldn't divulge details about what kind of help was provided.
Decatur's economic leaders have touted the city's central location, proximity to road and rail infrastructure and the intermodal ramp at Archer Daniels Midland Co. as strengths for companies looking to make and move their products. While McCrady couldn't say if Getzner chose Decatur for that reason, he sees reason to believe that awareness is spreading about what the city has to offer. The EDC has fielded more inquiries from smaller and midsize manufacturers, he said.
Speaking generally, he cautioned against judging smaller companies by the number of jobs they bring to the community, saying that's not always the best measure of economic impact.
"As we look back at the history of our country, what has always spurred expansion out of a recession has been small and midsize investments," he said, adding that expansion of existing businesses in Decatur is also key to its economic growth.