Indy Chamber / News / Indy Chamber News / Indy region reports strong economic development gains in 2015, adding more than 9,500 jobs, nearly $1.5B in investment

Indy region reports strong economic development gains in 2015, adding more than 9,500 jobs, nearly $1.5B in investment

Posted by ehayden on January 8, 2016

Indy region’s business attraction and retention efforts score big wins in manufacturing & logistics, tech, life sciences and more – growth includes companies like Finish Line, Raytheon, Caito Foods, NextGear Capital, NTN Driveshaft, John Morrell Food Group

INDIANAPOLIS, January 11, 2016 – 2015 was another strong year for business growth and job creation in the nine-county Indianapolis region.  Indy Partnership, the regional economic development division of the Indy Chamber, reported today that its activities and the efforts of its member counties  led to just over $1.4 billion in capital investment  and 9,600 new job commitments last year.

Local economic development organizations (LEDOs) from each county work together through Indy Partnership with the support of civic leaders and elected officials across the region, as the Chamber champions pro-growth public policy and focuses on issues like innovation, talent, global trade and small business development. 

Indy Partnership also led the region in developing its first-ever Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to align the region’s goals and allow it to apply for federal Economic Development Administration grants to support growth initiatives for the nine counties.

This unified approach continues to pay off, with major announcements in the region’s top industries of life science, advanced manufacturing, logistics, and emerging industries like digital technology and back office support continuing to invest and hire in the Indianapolis region in 2015.

“Our comprehensive economic development strategy is a blueprint for recruiting employers to choose the Indy region, encouraging entrepreneurs to start new ventures, and helping homegrown companies continue to grow,” said Michael Huber, President and CEO of the Indy Chamber.  “Our work isn’t finished, but it is getting results.  2015 was a great year for jobs and investment, and we expect even bigger things to come.” 

Major Indy Chamber initiatives such as Global Indy – a long-term initiative to grow the region’s international economy through its work with the Global Cities Exchange, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase – and a metro-wide microloan program powered by the SBA are part of a growing suite of services supporting area businesses.

Looking to 2016, the Indy Chamber and its business units will ramp up the implementation of its strategic plans developed over the course of the last two years.

The region’s metropolitan core experienced the most growth in 2015 with large investments from companies like national sporting goods retailer Finish Line Inc, which is investing $1.3 million to add new equipment and create 100 jobs at its east side headquarters and distribution facility, reaffirming the area’s advantages as a logistics hub.

Also in Indianapolis, 452 new positions are being added at cloud tech provider Appirio, while Caito Foods Service, Inc. committed to creating 350 new jobs in the city.  Real estate conglomerate Milhaus will create 250 jobs in Marion County amid strong residential growth downtown and across the metro area.

Indy’s appeal to growing companies in manufacturing and logistics, tech, the life sciences, and professional services was widespread, as employers from these and other industries made their mark across the metro area.  Key announcements from around the region included:

Vroom—Boone County

Vroom, an online pre-owned car retailer, is investing more than $13 million in a new reconditioning and fulfillment center that is expected to create 220 new jobs. Vroom began construction on the 500,000 square-foot facility last year.

NextGear Capital—Hamilton County

Another successful link in the automotive supply chain is NextGear Capital, a provider of inventory financing to auto dealers.  NextGear is renovating and expanding its headquarters in Carmel, a $50 million investment that will add up to 200 jobs by 2018.

Smithfield Foods (John Morrell Food Group)—Hancock County

John Morrell Food Group is investing $43.5 million to build and equip a 426,000-square-foot plant distribution center in Hancock County. The distribution center will create 260 jobs by the end of 2016, with average wages of $19.51 an hour.

Integrated Distribution Services (IDS)—Hendricks County

IDS  is investing more than $2.7 million and moving into a larger, 400,000+ square foot facility to consolidate and expand its Plainfield operations.  The growing supply chain company plans to create 71 jobs as part of the project, in warehouse, transportation, sales and office positions, adding to the area’s thriving logistics cluster.

B2S Labs—Johnson County

Indy’s strength as a top life sciences metro continues to attract new opportunities.  B2S Labs, a biotech company that specializes in tailoring medicines for specific diseases including cancer and diabetes, relocated to downtown Franklin. The  new location includes offices and lab facilities, adding 40 science, finance and business jobs with a $2 million capital investment.

NTN Driveshaft Inc.—Madison County

NTN Driveshaft, a Japanese autoparts marker with plants in Columbus and Frankfurt, broke ground on a 406,596- square-foot plant in Anderson. The plant is scheduled to open April 2017 and create 510 jobs, one of the largest employment announcements for 2015 – a testament to the area’s advanced manufacturing sector and success attracting foreign direct investment.

NTN’s additional capacity will produce 300,000 constant velocity joints for the automotive industry, scaling to  full production by 2018.

TOA USA—Morgan County

TOA Industries Co., a central Indiana auto parts factory, announced additional expansion to it Mooresville facility in 2015, after a large expansion in 2014 that created 220 jobs and was a $71 million capital investment.  The 2015 expansion north of the main facility will create 40 new jobs and is a $15.7 million investment into new presses, laser equipment and 70,000 square feet of hot stamping space.

More recently, the company announced another 38,000 square foot expansion to its E-Coat facility, a $7.7 million project adding 40 new jobs. Since 2014, TOA has invested $111.2 million and added 300 jobs to its Mooresville operation.

Freudenberg—Shelby County

Freudenberg is expanding its manufacturing facility and plans to hire 75 new employees. The $19 million expansion will add 20,000 square-feet to the existing facility. 

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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:

Jessica Higdon, Indy Chamber, 317.464.2232, jhigdon(at)indychamber.com

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