Brad Mullis of Nippon Steel Pipe America, right, presents two checks to Dan Davis of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The company gifts totaling $11,000 to two funds administered by the Foundation. Mullis is the company’s general manager of human resources, safety and training.


Nippon Steel Pipe America supports community


Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc., a steel tubing manufacturer, celebrated its recent name change and 30th anniversary in Seymour with two gifts to the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

The company donated $10,000 to the Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc. Charitable Endowment for Education and donated $1,000 to the JCB Administrative Endowment Fund. Both funds are administered by the Foundation.

“We greatly appreciate the work that the Community Foundation of Jackson County does in our community, and we’re pleased to be part of that,” said Brad Mullis, Nippon Steel Pipe America’s general manager of human resources, safety and training.

The Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc. Charitable Endowment was established in April 2014. The field of interest endowment helps fund the Foundation’s Fall Grant cycle. Recent grants from the fund were used to further educational programs at Child Care Network and Developmental Services Inc.

“Our Board of Directors appreciates the community-oriented spirit with which these and earlier gifts from Nippon Steel Pipe America are given,” Foundation President & CEO Dan Davis said. “Their gifts will make a difference in the community, and here at the Foundation, for decades to come.”

The company is also tied to another fund at the Foundation, the Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc. Scholarship Fund, which was created in October 1999.

Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc. opened as Seymour Tubing Inc. in 1989 at 1515 E. Fourth St. in the Eastside Industrial Park. It has since expanded 11 times and changed its name to Nippon Steel Pipe America earlier this year.

Mullis said the name change reflects the company’s global connections and global capabilities. The company has sister locations around the world. The gifts to the Foundation illustrate the company’s commitment to the Jackson County community, he added.

“We still operate by our message of small-town commitment, world-class quality,” Mullis said.

The company was formed as a joint venture between Nippon Steel, Sumitomo Pipe and Tube Ltd. and Mitsui Trading Co. Today, an 80 percent share is maintained by Nippon Steel Pipe Co. Ltd., and 20 percent is owned by Sumitomo Corp.

The company was incorporated on March 22, 1989, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held April 26 of that year. Production of steel tubing, primarily for the automotive industry, began in March 1990. The company now produces steel tubing for shock absorbers, struts, exhaust systems, side impact beams, wiring harnesses, steering and suspension systems and other components.

Over the years, employment has grown to 543, according to the Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., making Nippon Steel Pipe America the county’s ninth-largest employer.

Fast facts about Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc.

Founded: March 22, 1989

Expansions: 11

Employees: 543

Production: Steel tubing primarily for the automotive industry

How you can help

You, too, can make a donation to the Community Foundation of Jackson County. For information about how you can make a gift, large or small, to any of the funds administered by the Foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to President & CEO Dan Davis at


2020 scholarship applications online now


President & CEO

Hey high school juniors. This is for you and your parents, grandparents, guardians or foster parents.

Yes, this school year is winding down. Yes, you’re eager for summer vacation to start. Yes, you’re excited, maybe a little apprehensive, about becoming seniors.

But if you’re a junior planning to attend college or trade school after graduation in the spring of 2020, the Community Foundation of Jackson County needs to share some information with you as you consider all of the steps that will take you to campus.

And we encourage this year’s high school juniors – and their parents – to become familiar with the deadline and requirements for applying for the 57 scholarships administered by the Foundation.

By the way, our donors understand that a four-year college education isn’t for everyone.

Four of our scholarships aim to help graduating seniors further their education through vocational and technical education programs. These funds have been established to help area residents continue their education with the understanding that doing so doesn't always mean attending a four-year college and earning a bachelor's degree. They can help a graduating senior reach their occupational goal.

That means today’s high school juniors who don’t have their eyes set on earning a bachelor’s degree still should consider applying for a scholarship through the Foundation.

Our common scholarship application form must be completed and submitted by Aug. 22 this summer, just a matter of days after the start of your senior year. Applications are now available on the Foundation’s website. Click on "Scholarships" and "Scholarship Forms." No reason to wait. You can start now.

Foundation Vice President Sue Smith, who does much of the heavy lifting on our scholarship process, can answer questions about the application. She urges juniors to consider contacting teachers and others today – yes, this semester -- about letters of recommendation. They’re a requirement of the application process.

Two letters of recommendation are required with a maximum of one from a teacher. The other may come from a pastor, your employer, a supervisor where you volunteer or perhaps a family friend.

Gathering those letters of recommendation now rather than when school starts in early August would surely save some time and stress later.

The Foundation Board of Directors, staff and donors behind our more than 50 scholarship funds hope to raise the level of educational attainment in our community and increase awareness of the opportunities to improve the quality of life in Jackson County.

Increasing educational attainment among Jackson County residents is an important part of the Foundation’s mission to help grow better tomorrows.

Concern about the education levels here was a key factor when the Foundation brought together other partners from the community such as the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce and the city of Seymour to build the Jackson County Learning Center, which now also benefits from the financial support of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, the Jackson County Council and the Seymour Redevelopment Commission.

The Foundation’s efforts to improve educational opportunities extend beyond programs focused on college, however. They support the Jackson County Education Coalition’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program for 4-year-olds and the encouragement of workforce development in partnership with Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and others.

Some of that work includes the creation of Owl Manufacturing at Seymour High School, the iGrad mentoring program at Brownstown Central High School and pre-K programs at Brownstown, Crothersville, Medora and Seymour elementary schools.

It may seem a little out of whack, working with high school juniors and counselors now about spring 2020 scholarships when we’re about to distribute this year’s scholarship awards for the Class of 2019, but it’s important that we make our juniors aware now of this important step that can help them and their parents finance their college educations.

Remember, the deadline is Aug. 22. This summer. Don’t forget. Again, you can start now.

Trish Butt, left, of the Community Foundation of Jackson County Board of Directors presents a grant check to Karen Haas and Matt Nieman, members of the Jackson County Community Theatre Board of Directors. The grant is the first paid to the theater from the Branaman Family Endowment for the Jackson County Community Theatre. The endowment was created in 2017 by Patricia Branaman Blackadder, a Brownstown native. The fund will award a grant to the theater each spring. To donate to the fund, contact the Community Foundation at 812-523-4483 or donate online.