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LOCATION FOCUS: Indiana — More And More Roads Are Leading To “The Crossroads Of America”

By Dominique Cantelme
From the September/October 2013 issue

Recently you may have heard that Indianapolis International Airport is offering daily nonstop flights to both Los Angeles and San Francisco. This development is fantastic news for West Coast travelers coming to Indiana, as well as nonstop connectivity for Hoosiers to L.A. and San Francisco. But what you might not know is how the new San Francisco flight actually came to fruition, and what it says about Indiana’s collaborative business spirit and ability to get things done.

The business community told Governor Pence that nonstop flights were needed to connect Indiana to West Coast investment capital, human capital and also because the Bay Area is a major airline connection hub for Asia destinations. In fact, Indiana Secretary of Commerce, Victor Smith was one of those Indy-to-San Francisco commuters for his first few months as Secretary, and he understood firsthand what a huge asset these flights would represent for bringing more business to Indiana. When business leaders told Governor Pence that nonstop San Francisco flights were crucial for Indiana’s economic development, he listened, and then he challenged the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to make it happen.

The IEDC directly approached all necessary parties and quickly assembled a team between the airlines, the Indianapolis Airport Authority and key private sector business interests to inaugurate nonstop service between Indianapolis and the Bay Area. The end result was not only impressive, but serves as evidence that Indiana is one of the best states in the nation for working together with the public and private sector to create solutions that benefit everyone at the table.

A result that might have taken another state years to achieve, came together in a matter of weeks. It was all due to Indiana’s ability to reach a common goal that not only worked for private sector players, but for the state of Indiana as well. Commenting on the level of cooperation required to reach such a landmark agreement for Indiana, Secretary of Commerce Smith noted that, “Having been born and raised in Indiana, growing an Indiana company and later overseeing its California operations, and then returning to the Hoosier state to work in the public sector, I can see the contrast between the two states even more starkly. In California, the added costs, red tape and frankly even setting up that sort of meeting might have substantially delayed reaching a similar solution, or possibly derailed it entirely.”

Rendering of Hoosier Energy’s new LEED headquarters building under construction in Bloomington, Indiana. (Credit: Hoosier Energy)

Indiana definitely has a unique story to tell. There aren’t too many states that can get everyone together, arrive at a consensus, craft a solution that the entire group feels good about and solve the problem so quickly. Too often this quality is overlooked as an important asset for economic growth, and Indiana is truly one of the best states for working at the speed of business to minimize obstacles that get in the way of economic development. The new nonstop daily flights from Indy to L.A. and to San Francisco are an incredible reminder of just how well the public and private sector work together in the Hoosier state to get things done.

Inter-agency cooperation and a willingness to work together like family to make things better is only part of Indiana’s compelling value for attracting new business. It’s also a quality that sets them apart from other states, and it’s one of the primary reasons Indiana is a state that works for business.

HOOSIER ENERGY: LIVING UP TO ITS MISSION

Hoosier Energy’s Mission Statement is simple: To provide member distribution systems with assured, reliable and competitively priced energy and services in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner.

Incorporated in 1949, Hoosier Energy is a generation and transmission cooperative (G&T) providing wholesale electric power and services to 18 member distribution cooperatives in central and southern Indiana and southeastern Illinois to meet the collective electricity needs of more than 750,000 residents, businesses, industries and farms. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, Hoosier Energy operates coal, natural gas and renewable energy power plants and delivers power through a 1,500-mile transmission network.

Hoosier Energy sells power in a region that is rich in agricultural and manufacturing, as well as an area with rapidly growing logistics, technology and medical sectors. Several ongoing infrastructure upgrades taking place are greatly enhancing transportation in the region, adding to the capacity for businesses to grow. Hoosier Energy’s service territory faces exciting possibilities ahead. By being a part of this development at the start, Hoosier Energy and its distribution cooperatives are committed to ensuring that each new development’s power needs are attended to now and for future growth.

Agriculture leads to processing. Historically a farming culture, corn is still king in the region, with soybeans a close second. Southern Indiana has seen significant growth in food processing facilities. Several national food and meat distributors operate both production and logistics facilities in the region, including Farbest Foods (which is nearing completion of its $87M facility in Knox County), Rose Acres, Perdue and Sugar Creek Packaging. In the Southern Indiana-Illinois region (a.k.a.”Illiana”), melon growers such as Frey Farms harvest more pumpkins than any other producer.

Hoosier Energy monitors the monthly energy output of its corporate clients. By using a remote metering system that provides “live” updates via the web, Hoosier Energy charts and alerts corporate clients to sudden changes in monthly energy trends. It serves as an early warning system, flagging signs of potential power problems that require further investigation. Recent energy savings projects involving Hoosier Energy or one of its partner Rural Electric Membership Corporations (REMCs) include:

  • In September 2012, Atlas Warehouse, a deep-cold storage facility in Shelby County, invested in new, customized energy capacitors, increasing the electric power factor from 80 percent to more than 97 percent to significantly reduce electric costs.
  • Hoosier Energy’s member/owner, Dubois REC, provided analysis of OFS Brands’ facility in Huntington, showing that the compressed air system could yield energy savings of up to 48 percent. The cooperative and Hoosier Energy then provided the 1,800 employee firm with custom rebates to help make the improvements to the compressed air system affordable.

An expansion of I-69 across southern Indiana began in September 2009. When completed, the highway will bisect the region as a major transportation expressway traveling through rural areas to reach the front door of the Indianapolis International Airport and creating new interchange sites for manufacturers and logistics facilities seeking easy interstate access.

Hoosier Energy’s territory is served by major air transport from three locations, which play a progressively positive role in economic opportunity.

  • Louisville International Airport is the home of UPS Worldport, which completed three expansions since 2003.
  • Overnight delivery service firm DHL is located at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). DHL has invested more than $87 million since 2010, making CVG DHL’s primary stateside air hub. CVG is uniquely placed near three state lines, and its economic presence is felt deep within Southern Indiana.
  • FedEx occupies nearly two million square-feet on approximately 280 acres with more than 50,000 packages moving through the facility daily, complementing the Indianapolis International Airport’s 1,200,000-square-foot mid-field passenger terminal with easy access to an enhanced highway system.

Southern Indiana’s future is an exciting one, filled with possibilities. Hoosier Energy and its partner REMCs remain ready to help maximize that potential, now and in the years to come.

HARRISON COUNTY OPENS NEW LANESVILLE BUSINESS PARK

The competition for new business today may be greater than ever, so when the knock on the door comes, you need to be ready to answer. When Harrison County economic development officials were contacted by a developer working with a pharmaceutical company last fall, the privately owned farmland less than a mile from an interchange off of I-64 was covered with corn stalks from a recent harvest. Today a 60,000-square-foot building with the entire infrastructure in place is nearing completion and the new Lanesville Business Park is on the market.

Areva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., makers and marketers of injectable and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals used for the treatment of cancers, hypertension, heart disease and glaucoma, is the first company to locate in the Lanesville Complex. Areva’s Lanesville presence starts with a global distribution center. Phases II and III include a facility for on-site research and development and a facility for the manufacturing of sterile, injectable pharmaceutical products.

Harrison County business and government leaders reacted quickly to outline a plan to develop the land and build a facility for this project. Darrell Voelker, the Director of the Harrison County Economic Development Corporation said, “The Lanesville interchange area has always held great promise for business growth in our county, but the interest shown by Areva and the commitment to establish the infrastructure there is now making this development a reality.”

County Council Chair, Gary Davis added, “Areva brings to Harrison County the type of company that’s perfect for economic development. Their initial distribution warehouse and eventual high-tech manufacturing facility will result in new jobs offering very competitive wages and long-term stability.”

The ED Corporation requested a $5 million loan from the County that was approved by the County Council in November. The County also approved the funding for the Town of Lanesville and the Harrison County Regional Sewer District to cooperatively extend a sewer line from the Lanesville Treatment plant. Voelker said that community leaders, particularly the County Commissioners and County Council members, took quick, aggressive steps in support of this unique project and made bold decisions in an extraordinary fashion. “It all started when the James L. Shireman Company encouraged Areva to look at the Lanesville site in late September. By mid-November the property was under control and the funding for the development was approved. That was quick action,” said Voelker.

Additional businesses are expected to take advantage of this outstanding location which is about 15 minutes from downtown Louisville, KY and only 20 minutes from the UPS World Hub and the Louisville International Airport. The property developed for Areva includes a storm drainage system, a county roadway and all utilities. The new park is clearly “Open for Business.”

HENDRICKS COUNTY: THE TOP BUSINESS CHOICE

Indiana’s reputation as a business-friendly state has made it an attractive destination for companies seeking to expand or relocate operations. From the state’s low corporate tax rates, to its high quality of services coupled with low property taxes, to its status as a right-to-work state and more, Indiana offers many advantages.

But once a company has made the decision to come to the Hoosier State, which location offers the perfect combination of resources and opportunities? For a growing number of companies, the answer is Hendricks County, just west of Indianapolis.

Since 2001, the number of jobs in the U.S. has grown by just 3.2 percent. During that same time period, Hendricks County has seen an 82.9 percent increase in the number of jobs. And while the state’s population as a whole has grown by 2.5 percent since 2008, those new jobs have triggered 9.5 percent population growth in Hendricks County.

In fact, Hendricks County made Money Magazine’s list of the top 20 counties nationwide for job growth. The economic prosperity and friendly, small-town lifestyles earned double recognition on one of Money’s other important lists: the Best Places to Live. The town of Brownsburg ranked 55th on that list, while Plainfield came in just seven places later.

How has this once-sleepy county captured international attention and enjoyed steady growth despite economic woes? Key factors include its central, accessible location, a highly skilled labor shed, the quality of life reflected in Money’s ranking, and a remarkably effective partnership between private enterprise and the public sector.

Start with the county’s location. Central Indiana has long been a favorite for the logistics world, given its extensive access to road and rail. Less than a day’s drive from New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Cincinnati and Atlanta, Hendricks County provides overnight trucking access to more than half of the nation’s population—and local officials made access even more convenient with the locally funded, truck-friendly Ronald Reagan Parkway.

The county also borders on Indianapolis International Airport’s major air cargo resources. The airport hosts the world’s second-largest FedEx hub and dedicated Cargolux service to Europe. And for those that prefer to keep their shipments Brown, the UPS Louisville hub is a fast two hours away. Several sites within Hendricks County are foreign trade zones, too.

Achieving the kind of business growth Hendricks County has seen demands access to a large workforce. Here again, the county delivers. With a population of just over 154,000, Hendricks County is the center of a large labor shed that incorporates the Indianapolis area and several smaller cities. The area’s quality of life and existing employers in fields such as bioscience, medical devices and motorsports have drawn highly skilled workers. For example, 62.2 percent of the county’s workers have some postsecondary education, and a full 42 percent have earned college degrees. Family-friendly communities mean a young population, with nearly 60 percent of residents between the ages of 20 and 64.

Education at all ages is a key priority. All six of the county’s K-12 school systems are ranked among the state’s most effective. Several nationally known colleges and universities are within a two-hour radius, including the research facilities of Purdue University, Indiana University, IUPUI and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Local access to Indiana’s wealth of educational and workforce development resources is simplified through the Hendricks College Network, a non-profit partnership between the business community and postsecondary institutions that develop specialized training programs. Ivy Tech Community College, Trine University, Vincennes University and Indiana State University have all established local campuses and programs.

Another key factor in both business and population growth is the area’s lifestyle. Hendricks County offers delightfully affordable housing for every taste, expansive parks and trails and a wealth of local shopping and entertainment options that make the dream of working, living and playing in the same community a reality. In addition, all of the cultural, sports, entertainment and big-city resources of Indianapolis are just a short drive away.

While Hendricks County does offer an excellent combination of all these factors, the recent upswing in growth has been fueled by a particularly effective and aggressive collaborative effort by leaders in business, government, education and additional sectors. Through this well-connected effort, the county can respond immediately with practical solutions for the needs of both existing businesses and new corporate citizens. Local officials recognize the value of business investment and concentrate on removing roadblocks instead of creating new ones.

So it comes as no surprise that when companies are ready to take advantage of everything Indiana’s business-friendly climate offers, they discover that the friendliest, most productive choice they can make is Hendricks County.

SOUTHEAST INDIANA: WHERE FLEXIBLE MEETS AFFORDABLE

Southeast Indiana is a region that has proven itself as a preferred business location. Its unique position, overlapping the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Indianapolis, and Louisville regions, has long made it one of the best kept location secrets in the U.S. Today, with historic investments in technology, infrastructure and workforce training capacity, the secret is out. In addition to offering a lower cost of business and a less-crowded quality of life, the region offers better access to skilled employees, technology and business amenities than most of its urban counterparts.

Providing a skilled workforce to current and future employers has become a priority of the entire region. The region has seen investments of more than $95 million to improve its education and workforce training capacity in the last five years, including upgrades to community college campuses, the development of worker training facilities, and targeted programs for adults and high school students. The region is quickly becoming a national model for workforce collaboration.

Switzerland County’s Business Corridor (Credit: Switzerland County Economic Development Corporation).

In the Southeast corner of the region, Switzerland County has developed an award-winning workforce identification and training program. Begun in 2008 by the Switzerland County Economic Development Corporation, the initiative intends to raise the education and skill levels of residents to meet the needs of 21st century employers. This seven-year effort included the development of an Advanced Manufacturing curriculum and lab in the Switzerland County School System, featuring robotics, CNC, hydraulic and electrical training equipment, and project-based learning instruction for students. In 2012, the community dedicated The Switzerland County Technology and Education Center, a 24,000-square-foot facility featuring adult training classrooms and labs. Partnerships with regional technical training organizations, colleges and adult education providers offer customized instruction to the area’s workforce and provide the targeted skills training needed by regional employers.

Switzerland County recently has completed construction on the Markland Business Park. Funded by county government and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the center of this project is a 120-acre certified Shovel Ready business park, surrounded by an additional 300 acres of utility-served available property.

Located at the southern end of the region, the Markland Business Park is a short drive from the Cincinnati, Louisville and Lexington metro areas. This ability to draw workers from multiple regions, and still have a reasonable commuting distance, allows an employer to have more selection in drawing a skilled workforce. In fact, the commuting area surrounding the Markland Business Park draws from a regional population of more than 615,000 people. The park’s location also allows potential employees to have more options in what type of community they want to call home. Industries have already begun to take notice, with two businesses deciding to locate in the new facility before the property had even begun its first phase of construction.

Southeast Indiana has been able to gather unmatched resources to make location and expansion projects a reality. A regional economic development grant program funded by the City of Lawrenceburg has invested over $70 Million into infrastructure projects and location incentives across the region. The results have spoken for themselves, with over $1.3 Billion in private investment committed to Indiana from participating industries.

New infrastructure improvements in and around the region have not only opened up Southeast Indiana for better shipping and transportation, they have created some unique logistics advantages. Construction of a new highway in Northern Kentucky gave Switzerland County its first interstate access. Today, companies at the Markland Business Park can have trucks on the interstate in seven minutes, faster than most new business facilities.

The region also offers amenities that used to only be available in a much more urban setting. In Switzerland County, the Markland Business Park is located within view of Belterra Casino Resort and Spa. In addition to providing more than 600 hotel rooms, the property offers a premiere championship golf course and a conference facility that rivals metropolitan areas. Under construction in Lawrenceburg, Indiana is a $50 Million event center that is expected to compete directly with larger metro areas for convention business. These entertainment and meeting hosting capabilities along with convenient international airport access (less than 35 minutes for most of the region) have made Southeast Indiana competitive for a wider range of business location projects.

Switzerland County offers some of the lowest property tax rates in Indiana, aggressive incentive packages for targeted industries and incentives that include property tax abatements and infrastructure assistance. Both Switzerland County and Indiana also provide a variety of tools to meet specific workforce training needs including, skill assessments, job matching, training grants and assistance, and customized training programs developed by the community college network. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

More information on the Markland Business Park can be found at www.marklandbusinesspark.com; more information on Switzerland County can be found at www.switzerlandusa.com; and more information on Southeast Indiana can be found at www.SoutheastIndiana.org.

PERRY COUNTY IS FULL OF WORLD-CLASS OPPORTUNITIES

Offering a blend of world class manufacturing and quality logistics with the rural appeal of small town living and amenities, Perry County, Indiana has proven to be the location of choice for advanced manufacturing and logistics operations.

In the past 15 years the county has reinvented its manufacturing base from that of a world class wood furniture manufacturing center (Tell City Chair company et. al.) to a world class grey and ductile iron center. With an emphasis on the transportation industry, Waupaca Foundry began operations at its Plant 5 in 1997 and has since become a leader in its industry.

Waupaca Foundry is the largest of six manufacturing facilities located around the city of Tell City in southern Perry County. While those facilities primarily serve the transportation industry, there are a variety of products they produce. Tell City Boat Works constructs river barges and tug boats while ATTC Manufacturing produces automobile brake assemblies. The complexity runs the gamut from large hand welds to the automated, fine production art of heat exchanger assemblies. The skills of the employees are unique and varied.

While advanced manufacturing processes have taken hold, Perry County’s past is still alive in the furniture and wood products industry with well-known names and many small, home grown craftsmen still involved in production. The Cannelton Sewer Pipe Company continues to produce clay pipe while Consolidated Recycling continues to clean fluids and anti-freezes for re-use.

Each of these companies relies on the excellent logistics connectivity available in the county. The City of Tell City hosts the Perry County Port Authority (PCPA), which operates the Hoosier Southern Railroad connecting the Tell City River Port to the Norfolk Southern Railroad. It offers logistics services that move goods via barge, rail and truck, providing a critical service to local industry. Industries in surrounding areas also are served by the Tell City River Port, the Hoosier Southern Railroad and the trucking industry, each of which ship products nationally and internationally. The Tell City River Port is a boutique port that can make the smallest of moves to the largest with well-prepared stevedores highly familiar with the river that can handle challenging transloading operations easily.

The metropolises of Louisville, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana are each within an hour’s drive of Perry County. Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville and St. Louis are each within a three to four hour drive. A drive of just seven hours gets you to destinations including Chicago, Pittsburg, Atlanta or Memphis. The proximity to these cities enhances the ease of logistics for area businesses.

In addition, proximity to these locations ensures area residents have a wealth of entertainment options within their reach. Still, many off-duty residents simply enjoy outdoor recreational opportunities afforded in the county by the Hoosier National Forest or the Ohio River—which bounds the county’s southern border as well as portions of its western and eastern borders.

Logistics, communications, grey and ductile cast iron center, transportation manufacturing, clay pipe and living in Perry County, Indiana provides for world class opportunities for an array of companies and their employees. Businesses interested in learning more about the ease of logistics and production in Perry County are encouraged to visit pickperry.com.

BLOOMINGTON, IN: ATTRACTING TECHNOLOGY AND TALENT

In 2012, Cigital, Inc. announced it was opening its first U.S. assessment center (outside of company headquarters in Dulles, VA) in Bloomington, Indiana. The company now touts Bloomington among its list of worldwide locations, which includes London and Amsterdam. Considered the leading software security consulting firm in the world, Cigital decidedly chose Bloomington because of the pipeline of skilled graduates from Indiana University and Bloomington’s low-cost business environment (10.1 percent lower than the national average). Around the same time, Blue Burro, a management consulting and custom software firm, relocated from Florida to benefit from Bloomington’s rich entrepreneurial environment and abundant healthy lifestyles.

The City of Bloomington recently approved a comprehensive Master Plan for the downtown Certified Technology Park (CTP). Currently home to several technology companies and adjacent to many cultural attractions, restaurants, core neighborhoods and housing, the CTP was created as a tool to support the attraction and growth of high-technology business and to promote technology transfer opportunities. (Credit: Bloomington.in.gov)

Both Cigital and Blue Burro represent a rapidly growing part of Bloomington’s employment base, one that has caught the attention of tech leaders around the country. The Milken Institute named Bloomington “#1 in the nation among small metros for high tech employment” and Wired Magazine proclaimed Bloomington “An Emerging Epicenter of the High Tech Industry.”

The growth of Bloomington’s IT sector stems from the convergence of a few critical factors. First, Indiana University created the country’s first School of Informatics and Computing. Together with the university’s established national expertise in computing, IU has attracted some of the world’s leading researchers to the Midwestern community of almost 200,000, located only 47 miles from the Indianapolis International Airport. Second, in 2009 community partners launched the Bloomington Technology Partnership (BTP), an effort to connect the area’s high-tech firms, market open tech jobs and help the community retain talent graduating from IU. Shortly after, the City of Bloomington began new trail and street improvements throughout the downtown to make it more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. Recent years also have seen the development of thousands of new bedrooms downtown as well as hundreds of new hotel rooms.

The City of Bloomington was the first municipal government to participate in Google’s Summer of Code and has recently approved a master plan for it’s Certified Tech Park (CTP) located just seven blocks from IU.

“Bloomington’s tech park is located within the city’s vibrant walkable and bikeable downtown, linking our cultural, civic, commercial and residential districts to build upon existing amenities and provide new attractions that encourage residents and tech workers to explore and mingle,” said Danise Alano-Martin, Director of Economic and Sustainable Development for the City of Bloomington.

The multitude of public and private efforts to position Bloomington as a premier tech community are paying off for employers. Between IU and Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington (almost 43,000 and 7,000 students respectively), Bloomington sees over 1,000 tech graduates each year. These institutions not only prepare the next generation of tech talent, but also provide a forum for faculty and staff to collaborate with local businesses to provide cutting edge research and low-cost business assistance. Outside of the classroom, a new tech culture has emerged. The community now boasts three co-working spaces, multiple meet-ups each month and a thriving young professionals movement (hYPe: Helping Young Professionals Excel) that infuses networking and professional development.

“It should come as no surprise that Entrepreneur Magazine placed Bloomington as a Top 50 ‘Hottest Small Cities for Entrepreneurs’,” said Katie Birge, Director of the Bloomington Technology Partnership. “The cultural amenities and business opportunities for the tech sector are falling into place in exciting ways in Bloomington, and we’re seeing significant growth for new and established companies alike,” added Birge.

Techies can bask in Bloomington’s non-tech amenities too. Bloomington has a thriving indie music scene, several local coffee roasters and micro-breweries and has been recognized by both National Geographic and Bicycling magazines for its outdoor opportunities. Residents enjoy over 30 miles of trails, as well as 26 park sites on 2,354 acres. Within the county you can access Indiana’s largest inland lake, and the state’s only national forest.

With the expansion of the high-tech sector, the developing certified tech park, the quality high tech labor force and the local amenities, it is an exciting time to be in Bloomington.

For more information on what Bloomington has to offer, visit www.comparebloomington.us.

 

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