On Wednesday afternoon, the city of Hammond and representatives from Lear Corporation celebrated the groundbreaking for a new Lear Corporation facility. Construction on this new 240,000 square foot facility will begin immediately, with plans for production to begin in April of 2019.
Lear Corporation has had a presence in Hammond since 1994 when their current facility opened. The 100,000-square foot facility enjoyed 23 years of success creating automotive seating and electrical systems when the company ended up outgrowing the facility. Since that time, they’ve proven to be a valuable member of the Hammond Community, and a source of jobs and stability for many in the area.
“I want to thank Lear for believing in our city and creating good, union jobs to support middle class families,” said Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. “This is our first new factory build in Hammond since Munster Steel. We knew Lear was doing well, but if Lear moved because they were successful, how could I explain that? Thank you, Lear.”
Those in attendance applauded the decision for Lear Corporation to remain in Hammond, acknowledging the company for its growth, positive impact, and longstanding name. Representatives from Lear were on hand to celebrate and explain their decision to remain.
“This year we are very proud, this is our 100th anniversary and we have 150,000 employees in 38 countries,” explained Jill Caruso, Global Vice President of Lear Corporation’s Ford seating group. “We welcome our celebrated employees. You’ve been in this city for 23 years and we are looking forward to continuing that for the next generation.”
Employee appreciation and community support may be best understood by Hammond resident Michael Segvich, who stands as the Plant Manager of the Hammond location. He started his career with Lear in 1995 on the assembly line, and was quickly promoted to production supervisor. Over the years he held many positions, all of which led to his current role.
“The biggest thing that I can say is that I started on the assembly line, but I owe it to a few people who started before me. They helped train me to get where I’m at,” said Segvich. “We wanted to stay in Hammond, but we know space in the city is hard to find. We were very fortunate that this land was available.”
The factory’s decision to stay in Hammond was a tough one, with offers and incentives offered from multiple Chicagoland communities. Ultimately, though, Hammond was able to find property that suited the company’s needs, and proved to be a worthwhile investment for both them and the city.
“We’re pleased to be able to combine our operations into a single modern facility, which will optimize our ability to deliver the highest-quality Lear seats to Ford Motor Company,” said Ray Scott, Executive Vice President of Lear Corporation. “Lear’s ongoing relationship with Ford and the UAW in Hammond is deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for future opportunities.”
This new facility promises to be an asset to the Hammond community. Due to the cooperation and partnership from both sides, many jobs and opportunities are able to stay in the City of Hammond and offer benefit to residents of Northwest Indiana.
Hammond, IN 46320
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