CRANE, Ind. (WTHI) - Contractor opens a small operation but is expected to grow. Another defense contractor makes a beachhead in a southern Indiana tech park.
While many areas have struggled through the recession and slow recovery, the WestGate at Crane Tech Park has been bringing in businesses and jobs.
The latest addition is coming back to its roots in southern Indiana.
There are still some corn fields that poke out among the buildings at the WestGate at Crane Tech Park, but they are slowly receding.
Taking their place, buildings filled with contractors and jobs, and the newest addition is the McKean Defense Group.
"We're certainly thrilled to have McKean here as part of the WestGate development," said WestGate At Crane Executive Director Charles Selby. "To be able to grow new companies here in this economy, it just does fantastic things for southern Indiana."
The addition also does great things for Crane Naval Weapons Activity down the road.
"It's exciting because they bring in new engineers, different skill sets," said Crane Commander Colonel Alan Pratt. "So, as we might get new taskings, new technologies, we know there are folks right outside the fence line that can help us with new and innovative ideas."
McKean is a fairly new defense contractor, but they have operations all across the country, and their roots come right back to Crane.
"Our first contract was here at Crane in March of 2007" said McKean Defense Group C.E.O. Joe Carlini. "We put our first office here in Bloomington because WestGate wasn't ready for us yet, but it's ready for us now and we're thrilled to be right outside the gate here at Crane."
While the office opened with a ribbon cutting may be a small one, company officials say they don't expect it to remain that way.
The intent is to grow their presence here and be a part of what has become a high tech growth center in southern Indiana.
Officials say that despite projected cuts in defense spending they expect the work to continue at Crane and for their contractors.
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