Football helmet maker comes to Plainfield

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PLAINFIELD, Ind. — Some of the biggest names in football may soon wear Indiana-made helmets. Major equipment manufacturer Certor Sports is moving production to the Indy area.

“Great sports city where you would like to be. You have the NCAA here. You have professional teams here,” detailed Jim Heidenreich, CEO of Certor Sports. “We want to be where there’s a vibrant job market, and obviously Indy fits that bill.”

Certor Sports manufactures approximately 300,000 football helmets per year. Players like Russell Wilson and Derek Carr wear their models in the NFL. The company owns many brands, including household headphone names like Schutt and Vicis. Heidenreich says their helmet designs rank one, two and three in NFL safety testing protocols.

“Materials have come a long way. Design has come a long way, and it’s all about how you can reduce concussions,” Heidenreich said. “We are hiring right now. If you want to see what you’re up to all day on Friday Night Lights or the NFL on Sunday then this is the place to come.

The company is opening a manufacturing plant in Plainfield that will employ approximately 300 workers. They expect more than 250 of those positions to be new hires. They are looking for production workers, painters and customer service personnel. Many sectors of Indiana’s economy are struggling with hiring issues, but one economics expert we spoke with says manufacturing jobs should be easier to fill.

“Manufacturing should do well. Indiana still lost about 43,000 factory jobs from its winter 2019 peak,” said Ball State economics professor Mike Hicks. “There are between 5.6 and 6 million Americans not working today who would be working if we didn’t have COVID. Most of them are women, therefore a consequence of the challenges of children related to COVID. [That may be] find daycare or potential school closures.

The company also manufactures equipment for other sports. This includes all bases used in Major League games, including the World Series which is currently taking place.

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