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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence joined executives from Celadon Trucking Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Celadon Group, Inc., to announce the company’s plans to locate a driver training school here, creating up to 500 new jobs by 2022.
The company, which provides long-haul, dry van truckload service throughout North America, will invest $5.7 million to build a 61,000 square-foot training facility near its Indianapolis headquarters campus. In addition to the Quality Drivers school, the building will house dorm rooms, a cafeteria, workout room, basketball/racquet court, Wi-Fi and driver training road course. Facility construction is expected to be complete by the fall.
“Celadon’s commitment to Hoosiers reflects a growing confidence in the business climate in our state,” said Pence. “At the heart of the nation, our convenient location and expansive transportation infrastructure strengthen Indiana’s reputation as the ‘Crossroads of America.’ Combine this with our competitive tax climate and skilled workforce and, logistically speaking, Indiana works for business.”
The first class of driver training school candidates began last October. Based on the individual driver, the program offers a three to five-week training curriculum, both in the classroom and on the road. Celadon plans to bring in overlapping classes of driver trainees every two weeks.
“Driver recruitment and driver retention is a long-term challenge within the industry,” said Paul Will, president and chief executive officer of Celadon. “Logistically, locating the driver training school in Indiana is a sound business decision that provides access to the state’s vast resources, but it also gives Celadon another opportunity to give back to the state of Indiana by contributing significant jobs numbers right here in Indianapolis. We’re extremely happy and proud to continue our commitment to the local and state economies.”
Founded in 1985, Celadon ranks as one of North America’s largest truckload carriers with annual revenue exceeding $600 million. The company has also been recognized as one of the safest truckload carriers with multiple first-place finishes in the Truckload Carriers Association’s National Fleet Safety Awards among carriers annually hauling more than 100 million miles. Employing more than 650 Hoosiers, Celadon has approximately 4,000 associates nationwide and operates roughly 3,000 tractors and 8,700 trailers. Its customer base includes many Fortune 500 shippers, including most major retailers and manufacturers.
“Celadon’s commitment to Indianapolis is crystal clear with the investment it is making in our community by providing new quality jobs for our workforce with a focus on retention while also offering the training necessary to succeed,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “With its plans to build a new facility here to accommodate its driver school, Celadon is among a growing number of companies choosing to expand in Indianapolis.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Celadon Trucking Services, Inc. up to $2,950,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Indianapolis will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of Develop Indy.
The announcement of Celadon’s expansion adds to Indiana’s growing distribution and logistics industry. Indiana is home to more than 11,000 total highway miles, four international airports and 4,165 miles of active rail track. The state ranks 9th in the country in total railroad mileage, and 76 percent of the track is operated by Class I railroads.