BUSINESS REPORT: Indiana – A Warm Business Climate Grows A Multitude Of Jobs

By Donna Clapp
From the March/April 2012 issue

“With our low-cost, fiscally sound business climate, Indiana continues to catch the attention and win the investment of more and more companies,” said Dan Hasler, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) in December.

The IEDC announced that in 2011 it secured job commitments from 219 companies from across the country and around the world, an increase from 200 companies in 2010 and more than any other year on record. Driven by companies like Angie’s List, Canadian National Railway, R3 Composites and SS&C Technologies, Indiana welcomed commitments for 19,080 new jobs and $2.7 billion in capital investment in 2011. The new jobs, many of which have already been created and others companies expect to create over the next five years, pay an average hourly wage of $21.22, above the state’s current hourly wage of $19.17.

“This year’s results are a testament to the dedication and collaboration of people throughout the state,” said Hasler at the announcement. “But there’s more hard work ahead in 2012 as Indiana continues to make job creating efforts our top priority.”

Non-automotive manufacturing represented the largest sector for new job commitments in 2011 with 5,223 new jobs projected. With 4,650 job commitments, the automotive-related manufacturing industry represented the second largest sector of new growth followed by the logistics sector with nearly 2,000 projected new jobs. Job commitments for other sectors include: business services (1,729), information technology (1,261) and life sciences (838).

Business consolidations were a trend in 2011 with 34 companies planning to move all or a portion of their operations to Indiana. Collectively, these projects accounted for 3,325 new job commitments and $165.6 million in capital investment.

This year the state’s economy continued to garner national accolades. Indiana is one of only nine states to have triple-A credit ratings from all three reporting agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s. Chief Executive magazine rated Indiana sixth in its annual “Best & Worst States” survey.

Indiana’s Advanced Manufacturing Advantage

Indiana combines traditional production with progressive technology to create an attractive environment for manufacturers, which has made it a proven leader in advanced manufacturing. From motor vehicle production to innovative electronics, leading manufacturing firms from across the country and around the world have chosen Indiana for their plants and corporate offices.

Through the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, the state supports statewide economic development goals of growing and retaining businesses in Indiana, and attracting new businesses by developing world-class manufacturing resources. For example, Indiana is a leading state in the research, development and manufacturing of next-generation batteries and electric drive vehicles. Companies like Delco Remy and, Delphi have been global leaders in the production of battery systems for advanced technology vehicles and led the efforts around the development of the battery system. Delphi Electronic & Safety, is the only U.S. manufacturer of hybrid power converters, controllers and battery packs. The state is also a national hub for battery systems development and testing for the defense and national security industry, with unique assets like the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, which has forged strong partnerships around energy storage technologies with several top defense contractors across Indiana including Raytheon, SAIC, ITT, General Dynamics, and others.

Indiana’s world-class research universities, including Purdue University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and the University of Notre Dame, have formed an active research and development partnership around next-generation battery technology and are working with a network of industry partners to accelerate technology transfer.

In the advanced battery sector, Indiana launched the Energy Systems Network in 2008 to accelerate the development of energy technology solutions. The network has already forged a number of joint partnerships involving Fortune 500 companies, innovative Indiana start-ups, and leading research institutions. Network member organizations include: Duke Energy, Cummins, Delphi, Allison Transmission, Remy, IBM, SAIC, Rolls Royce, Raytheon, Indianapolis Power & Light, Brevini, I Power, AltiarNano, Bright Automotive, Rocky Mountain Institute, Midwest ISO, NSWC Crane, Purdue University, Indiana University, The University of Notre Dame, and Ivy Tech Community College.