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The Associated Press June 10, 2011, 4:02PM ET

Cummins to add 600 jobs in Columbus, Indiana

Diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. said Friday that it will add 600 employees over the next few years to staff an $18 million office building it plans for its central Indiana headquarters.

The project includes the construction of a 130,000 square-foot office building that will connect to the company's corporate campus in downtown Columbus. It is the third expansion in the area announced by Cummins in the past year and will give it nearly 3,000 workers in Columbus, about three times its local presence in 2008.

Cummins said it plans to continue hiring engineering, human resources, information technology, marketing and administrative staff for its Columbus headquarters.

"We are running out of ways and running out of words to thank the Cummins Engine Company," Gov. Mitch Daniels said at a news conference in which the company announced its expansion plan.

Daniels touted Indiana's third-highest state gross domestic product in the nation and its recent AAA bond rating, and noted that Indiana had fared better in the recession than many other states.

Cummins reported its most profitable year ever in 2010, largely on the strength of significant growth in international markets, including China, India and Brazil.

More than 60 percent of Cummins' sales are generated outside of the United States.

"Today's announcement is another sign that Cummins' strength around the world benefits our business and communities in Indiana," Cummins chairman and chief executive officer Tim Solso said in a prepared statement. "Our strong partnership with the city of Columbus and state of Indiana is crucial to our ability to grow in the state and serves as a model for other communities in which we do business."

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation said it would support Columbus' application to establish a Certified Technology Park designation in the downtown area that includes the Cummins campus. The city of Columbus is expected to provide $1 million for local education, and $12 million to help cover project construction costs.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, who plans to run for governor in 2012, said Cummins' success made him proud to be from Columbus. "Cummins is Columbus. Columbus is Indiana. And because of the hard work of the good and decent people of Columbus, Indiana, Indiana is growing," he said.

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