City of Indianapolis, Develop Indy Report on 2016 Economic Development

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More than 11,000 jobs created or retained in relocation and expansion projects; technology employment booms as unemployment rate falls to 4% in Marion County

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (JANUARY 10, 2017) - The City of Indianapolis and its economic development agency, Develop Indy, released 2016 business attraction and retention totals today.  Develop Indy – a division of the Indy Chamber supported by the City of Indianapolis – pursued 49 successful relocation and expansion projects last year.  These efforts will lead to roughly 4,500 new jobs, keeping another 6,800 at-risk positions in Marion County and adding nearly $600M in new payroll and capital investment to the local economy.
Information technology led the way in new job creation, headlined by major investments like Salesforce (800 new jobs), Knowledge Services (400+), Octiv (formerly Tinderbox – the rebranded sales tech firm plans to hire 220+), Scale Computing (162) and many more. 
The city’s advanced manufacturing sector also notched a number of project wins, including the expansion of a growing hometown brewery (Sun King), a leading healthy snack brand (Clif Bar), and a 158-job commitment from global building security leader Schlage/Von Duprin. 
“As we look back on the list of companies that chose Indianapolis in 2016, we see a strong business climate and a surge in the technology sector,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.  “Employers are taking notice of the momentum in our community and seeing an Indianapolis address as a competitive advantage for their business and employees.”
In November, commercial real estate brokerage CBRE released its 2016 ‘Tech Thirty’ report on technology trends in major U.S. markets, ranking the Indianapolis metro 5th in the nation for tech employment gains over the last two years.  An earlier 2016 analysis by the Brookings Institution put Indianapolis among the top 20 large metros in advanced industry job creation in R&D-intensive areas of manufacturing, life sciences, and tech.
“Whether it’s ‘Made in Indianapolis,’ ‘Discovered in Indianapolis,’ or ‘Coded in Indianapolis,’ we’re building a great environment for advanced industry firms to invest and innovate,” noted Michael Huber, President & CEO of the Indy Chamber.   “Initiatives like 16 Tech and other collaborative efforts involving major corporations here are putting Marion County and the Indy region on the map for cutting-edge companies from around the world.”
Projects in the life sciences sector accounted for more than 500 new and retained jobs, and Huber added that the development of applied research assets at the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute – located at 16 Tech – were positioning the city for even stronger growth as a center of global health innovation.
Indianapolis also built on another traditional strength in 2016: Transportation logistics projects yielded more than 300 new jobs, led by ‘The Room Place’ logistics operation on the east side, and a major FedEx expansion at the airport that will support Indy’s position as the ‘Crossroads of America’ and an international distribution hub.
With Marion County’s unemployment rate at 4% (November ’16), below the U.S. rate and the average of other ‘metropolitan’ counties, Mayor Hogsett hailed “teamwork” among public agencies and the private sector as critical to Indianapolis’ economic success.
“Develop Indy is a great sales force for Indianapolis, part of a much broader approach to economic development,” Mayor Hogsett said.  “That’s why we’re working closely with the Indy Chamber and other partners to cut red tape and make city services more accessible, align workforce programs like EmployIndy with real-world employer needs, and moving forward aggressively to build safer, stronger neighborhoods – because the best places to live are also the best places to do business.”
Ian Nicolini, who joined the Indy Chamber as Vice-President of Indianapolis Economic Development in late 2016 after a successful stint as Speedway’s Town Manager, agreed that Develop Indy is embracing new partnerships and expanding its activities to boost employment and investment in Marion County.
“We’re working every day to attract new businesses, from across the country and around the world,” said Nicolini.  “But we’re also playing a stronger role in ‘homegrown’ opportunities – for every company we connected with outside Indy, we made four contacts  with existing Indianapolis employers to understand their challenges and opportunities.
“That’s why it’s critical that Develop Indy works hand-in-hand with Mayor Hogsett and Deputy Mayor [for Economic Development] Angela Smith-Jones, and that we’re based with the Indy Chamber…my office is just a few doors from the Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services team, which provides thousands of hours of business coaching and other free services to local companies – another critical part of our economic growth strategy.”

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