Waterloo, Ontario-based Onward Manufacturing Co. Ltd. announced Wednesday afternoon that it would locate its first U.S. grill production center in northeast Indiana, creating more than 300 jobs in Huntington by 2011.

The company, which manufactures barbecue gas grills, will invest several million dollars to redevelop an existing 400,000 square-foot building that formerly housed a fireplace manufacturer.

The company, which markets its grills under the brand names Broil King, Broil-Mate and GrillPro, has begun hiring personnel in Huntington and plans to hire more as production ramps up at the facility over the next several months.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Onward Manufacturing up to $1.6 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $150,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans. The city of Huntington will provide additional property-tax abatement at the request of Huntington County United Economic Development.

"This is one of Huntington's most exciting economic development announcements in recent memory," said Mayor Steve Updike.

Onward was founded in 1904 as the Rite-Away Fountain Pen Co. and began manufacturing grills in 1984 under contract.