Fort Wayne plating company plans $1.1M expansion; 17 new jobs

Local News
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One of the most longstanding companies of its kind is expanding. Franke Plating Works, which bills itself as America’s oldest family-owned plating company, today announced plans to create up to 17 jobs and invest more than $1.1 million to upgrade its production facilities just east of downtown Fort Wayne. 

Established in 1930, Franke Plating Works is in its third generation of family ownership and will soon transition to the family’s fourth generation. The company has grown to serve a worldwide client base in industries including automotive, aerospace, agriculture, defense, and medical. To accommodate the growth, the company will add new equipment and make improvements to its facilities, located at 2109 E. Washington Blvd. and 1918 E. Wayne St. The improvements allow for additional flexibility and the ability to plate a more diverse set of parts. This expansion will also more than double the company’s current production capability. 

Plating is the process of applying a metal coating or other treatment to the surface of a metal part or component. This is typically done to make components stronger, extra durable, more adhesive, or thicker. For example, Franke Plating Works has plated parts to handle the rigors of flight aboard NASA spacecraft. 

“We’re proud of the company we’ve built here in Fort Wayne,” said Warren Franke, owner of Franke Plating Works. “We’ve been in business for almost 90 years, and we’re still going strong. As we grow, we remain committed to our longstanding principles: competitive pricing, quick turnaround time, and constant client communication from our dependable staff.” 

The company plans to hire for positions including production operators, fork truck operators, quality specialists, and safety/maintenance specialists. Interested applicants can email info@frankeplatingworks.com. Franke Plating Works readily hires veterans, with vets accounting for about 10 percent of the company’s current workforce. 

“Indiana’s small business owners are a crucial part of our economy, supporting more than 1.2 million quality jobs across the state,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). “Franke Plating Works is one of these success stories, having a strong presence in the northeast Indiana region for nearly 90 years. This expansion will ensure the company’s continued contributions to the Fort Wayne community, while enabling Franke Plating Works to grow and better serve its clients across the globe from here in the Hoosier state.” 

The IEDC offered Franke Plating Works up to $165,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning that until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Northeast Indiana Works will provide additional hiring and training assistance. 

“Fort Wayne continues to experience positive job growth and private investments. We appreciate the excellent work that Franke Plating Works performs for its customers and congratulate them on their upcoming expansion,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said. “Franke Plating Works is a homegrown company and vital part of our ongoing commitment to be a point of destination city for individuals, families, and businesses.” 

Franke Plating Works is located within the Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District (SEED) and therefore qualifies for investment-based tax savings. Formerly the Urban Enterprise Zone, the SEED offers real estate and personal property tax benefits for commercial investments to enhance manufacturing, innovation, technology, and logistics. In 2018, the City of Fort Wayne expanded SEED beyond its original urban core to include major commercial corridors emanating out of downtown. The district expansion doubled the number of businesses that qualify for the incentives. To learn more about SEED, visit SEEDFW.org. 

“Retaining a long-standing business like Franke Plating Works in the SEED is strategically important for urban jobs,” said Trois Hart, director of SEED. “Residents in all areas of the city want access to strong employment opportunities near their homes.”

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