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Indy Region Reports Strong 2016 Economic Development Effort

Posted by chamberadmin on January 27, 2017

Indy metro adding 11,000 New Jobs & $1.2B in Metro Investment as High-Tech Boom Continues

INDIANAPOLIS, January 30, 2017 – Indiana’s largest metro scored major economic wins in 2016,  based on year-end results announced today by the regional business attraction arm of the Indy Chamber.  The Indy Partnership reports 11,100 new jobs and more than $1.2B in capital investment last year, coordinated with its local economic development organization (LEDO) partners across the nine-county area.

Nearly one of every three new jobs came in information technology, continuing a recent IT growth trend.  The 2016 ‘Tech Thirty’ report (released annually by commercial real estate broker CBRE) ranked the region 5th among major metros in tech employment gains for the last two years (besting even Silicon Valley over that span).

“Indy continued to build a more innovative economy in 2016, and it shows clearly in our attraction and retention successes,” said Indy Chamber President & CEO Michael Huber.  “Our best is yet to come: We’ve only begun to implement the ‘Accelerate Indy’ strategy, focusing on high-skill talent and a high-tech business climate, and restructuring regional economic development to be more competitive.”

Major tech wins include the 800 job Salesforce expansion in Indianapolis, Octiv (formerly Tinderbox, 225 new jobs), Clear Software (190 new jobs, Zionsville) and Braden Business Systems (120 new jobs, Fishers) among 27 projects accounting for more than 3,300 jobs.  Other notable investments show the region’s ‘advanced industry’ momentum, including high-skill, R&D-driven areas of manufacturing and life sciences along with technology:   

  • Development of the 16 Tech innovation district and Indiana Bioscience Research Institute continued to pay dividends, with major expansion plans from Indiana-based medical device giant Cook Group;
  • Advanced industries are highly globalized, and Indy attracted foreign investment from firms like Italy-based Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals (Indianapolis), Japan’s Ryobi (Shelbyville), and marked the opening of Cummins’ new worldwide logistics headquarters;
  • Advanced manufacturing also continued to be a pillar of the regional economy; nearly a thousand new jobs came from 23 manufacturing projects across seven counties last year, including the 115-job/$111M expansion of ELSA Corporation in Elwood.

The region’s logistics industry also showed major movement in 2016, adding nearly 3,000 new jobs from projects like the expansion of Knight Transportation (a 426-job commitment in Plainfield) and 84 Lumber (100 jobs in Franklin).

“Roughly 60% of all new jobs tracked by the Indy Partnership last year came from IT and logistics,” noted Huber.  “It shows that we need to focus on our high-tech future and continue to capitalize on fundamental assets like our central location and multi-modal transportation system.  That’s why a long-term solution for infrastructure funding is high on our public policy agenda, alongside issues like education and entrepreneurship.”

In all, the Indy Partnership and its LEDO partners completed 119 successful relocation and expansion projects in 2016.  The Indy Partnership spearheads business attraction and retention activities as a division of the Indy Chamber, coordinating with the Chamber’s other economic initiatives – entrepreneurial services like business coaching and microlending, export and foreign investment programs and other business outreach efforts. 

As part of refocusing these efforts through its Accelerate Indy regional plan, the Indy Chamber hired its first Chief Economic Development Officer (CEDO) in 2016; Maureen Donohue Krauss, formerly of the Detroit Regional Chamber, joined the team in November. 

Coming to Indianapolis from Detroit, known as the hometown of several U.S. automakers and other entries on the Fortune 500, Krauss identified another positive trend in the Indy Partnership’s project pipeline:  24 projects bringing new or expanded corporate headquarters to the region, creating another 2,600 new jobs.

“Headquartered companies help sustain our office and professional service sectors, get more engaged as corporate citizens and can play a valuable role introducing their customers and suppliers to Indianapolis,” Krauss said.  “When firms like Mobi Wireless [Zionsville], Stanley Security [Fishers], and Allied Solutions [Carmel] make that kind of long-term commitment, it’s a powerful vote of confidence in our economy and community.”

The Indy Partnership’s 2016 job commitments (11,089) are slightly ahead of the 2015 total, despite fewer active projects last year.  Krauss explained that overall relocation activity is down nationally, but foresees a more effective, comprehensive approach that will spur even bigger numbers in 2017 and beyond.

“The Indy Partnership will continue to aggressively ‘sell’ our region,” Krauss finished.  “But corporate attraction will go hand-in-hand with support for existing companies and building an even better environment for entrepreneurs, investors and innovators to turn new ideas into new ventures…whether opportunity exists across the globe or in our own backyard, Indy will be open for business.”

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About the Indy Chamber:
The Indy Chamber is the voice of progress and improvement for the Indianapolis region's business community. With membership of nearly 2,300 businesses representing 230,000 employees in the Indianapolis region, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve the state of education, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region's workforce.  For more information, visit IndyChamber.com

Media Contacts:

Joe Pellman, Indy Chamber, 317.464.2251, jpellman(at)indychamber.com

Chris Watts, CVR Public Relations, 317.514.3184, cwatts(at)cvrindy.com