ITT Industries, Inc announced Thursday that it will open a new brake pad production facility in Searcy. The new plant will produce brake pads for the automotive industry in North America. The products will be marketed under the KoniŽ brand name. Company state and local officials were on hand for the announcement. The plant, a state-of-the-art 136,000 square foot facility, will initially employ 30 people and increase to 80 within the next 24 months. The company, which will be housed in the former ITT Industries plant, will invest $10 million for machinery and equipment in 2005 and an additional $24.2 million over the next five years. "This is great news for families all over White County," said Gov. Mike Huckabee. "We welcome ITT Koni America to Arkansas` growing list of quality automotive suppliers. We continue to build an automotive corridor in our state. This just adds to the momentum." Bjorn von Euler, director of corporate relations, said that the cooperation and enthusiasm of local and state leaders was a significant factor in the location decision. "They took the time to learn about our business, understand our needs and then put together an excellent economic development package."