"Energy Boost" Comes To Wabash In Form Of Plant Expansion

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 10, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2012 at 6:23 PM EDT

WABASH, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The Wabash County economy gets a "jolt" of energy.

A powerhouse in the energy drink industry is expanding operations in Wabash.

The job impact is somewhat in dispute.

The job-recruiting arm of state government, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, is touting that the expansion will create 200 new jobs, while the company more conservatively forecasts 60 new jobs.

Parent company "Living Essentials" said Wednesday it will invest more than $25-million in a new plant to produce and distribute its popular 5-hour ENERGY® drinks.

Governor Mitch Daniels was on hand for the announcement.

The new facility will be built on a state certified shovel ready site off U.S. 24.

5-hour ENERGY® drinks are dietary supplements featuring B-vitamins, amino acids and caffeine.

They are marketed across North America and Europe.

The business venture is also paying off for Wabash County.

" We started off with no employees, no facility, and in four short years, we're just less than 800-thousand square feet, and we've got over 370 employees," said Karl Smith, the plant’s General Manager.

" This company is all over the world, and they chose to be in Wabash, and that doesn't only help Wabash County, but helps our whole region," Republican Mayor Robert Vanlandingham said.

Even if the job impact is only 60 jobs, it’s a win for Indiana.

The announcement keeps the original 370 jobs in place.

It’s important to note, the company launched in Michigan, so Indiana lured it away from its neighbor.

This announcement improves the chances of Wabash holding on to what Mayor Vanlandingham believes will become the city’s largest employer once the plant is built and opens in September of 2013.

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