A contract for 10,000 new Postal Service vehicles has created 200 new jobs at Utilimaster. The Wakarusa, IN, based van and utility truck manufacturer is building the carrier route vehicles in partnership with Ford Motor Co.

The Indiana Dept. of Commerce awarded Utilimaster a $150,000 training grant to hire approximately 210 new workers and retrain 650 to launch the project. The training grant covers process mapping, communications, JIT, statistical process control and problem solving. The states awards training grants to Indiana companies, primarily manufacturers, that undertake capital-investment projects.
The delivery vehicles feature customized aluminum and composite bodies mounted on Ford Explorer chassis. Cargo capacity has been expanded to accomodate growing volumes of expedited and standard mail packages.