Year: 2016

Our Region Boosts the Earning Potential for Future Generations

By Jeff Quyle, Radius Indiana President and CEO

The Radius Indiana region is home to numerous businesses, a beautiful landscape as well as a culture and mindset that values personal responsibility and hard work. That mindset is an advantage to the businesses in our eight-county region, which includes Washington, Crawford, Dubois, Orange, Martin, Daviess, Greene and Lawrence counties. The labor force in our communities is productive – and good for business – and it turns out that recent research shows that the good work ethic of our region is just as good for our folks themselves. While we all know that intuitively, it’s good to read a study that backs up the facts.

In a study titled “The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergeneration Mobility: Childhood Exposure Effects and County-level Estimates,” published in 2015, Harvard economists looked at the types of communities that offer upward mobility for children. They studied the movements of families with children from high-poverty neighborhoods to neighborhoods with less poverty. Subsequently, the New York Times applied the study’s findings to statistics for every county in the U.S., to see which counties had the right circumstances and cultures that allow children to earn more income than their parents, which is the American Dream after all.

The study found that for each year a child is exposed to positive surroundings it helps increase his or her chances for success. And on a county-by-county basis, every county in the Radius region was statistically shown to deliver increased chances for financial improvements for those raised in our region.

For example, a girl who grows up in an average income family in Orange County would have an average future income better than girls who grow up in 69 percent of other counties in the U.S. As the young woman enters the workforce she is likely to make an additional $1,890 per year in income, because she had been shaped by Orange County’s environment.

Particularly outstanding is the anticipated value of growing up in Dubois County. A boy who grows up in an underprivileged family in Dubois County is expected to earn more than another child raised in 96 percent of all counties in the U.S, which translates to $5,960 more in yearly income.

And according to the projections, every Radius county is a positive place for children to grow up, in terms of giving them an advantage in their future earning potential—our communities are creating positive futures for our children.

What kinds of factors seem to be important to helping children grow up better prepared to work in the world? Good schools are one factor, of course. Also factoring in are lower rates of violent crime, higher percentages of two-parent households and less segregation by income and race. These are all strengths of the Radius region.

Unfortunately, we do not have enough jobs in the region to keep our future workforce employed; many of our youth leave our counties when they reach young adulthood. Our Radius population includes only 7.6 percent of residents who are between the ages of 18 and 24. The state of Indiana population overall, for that same age range, is 10 percent.  And among residents who are ages 25 to 34, Radius has only 11.2 percent, while the state population is 12.8 percent, and the national average is 13.3 percent. These numbers show that our youth do not stay in our region when they become young adults.

Along with your county’s local economic development office, Radius Indiana works to bring new jobs to the region. We want our youth to have opportunities to stay in our region to live and to work, if they so choose. We are committed to helping our existing businesses grow and prosper, so they may hire more of our local residents, and we also work to persuade new companies to come to the Radius region to bring jobs that can be filled by the types of people who will be productive workers and lifelong residents of our communities.

We thank you for your continued support of your local economic development strategies and initiatives. It takes long-term investment in infrastructure, education and quality of place to build communities that are as good as those in our region for raising families, and we know these types of investments have incredible returns.

Radius Indiana Develops Manufacturing Index to Track Regional Economic Trends

BEDFORD, Ind. (Nov. 1, 2016) — Radius Indiana today announced its new tool, the Radius Manufacturing Index, to measure the strength of the manufacturing industry in the region, and reports the RMI shows that the traditionally strong region for manufacturing continues to outpace the state and nation in terms of manufacturing strength.

The RMI was developed in collaboration with Thomas P. Miller & Associates and is an instrument that provides cumulative information about 12 facets of the manufacturing cluster — a hallmark of the Radius region that has never been detailed and tracked at this level for the region. Data was examined for 2013-2015 to create a baseline for subsequent indices, which Radius plans to monitor quarterly.

Among the best news that the RMI provided was that manufacturing jobs in the Radius region have increased by 2,734 in the past five years.

Manufacturing’s strength in the area is reflected in the potency of the Radius region’s Location Quotient for manufacturing, which is a widely used measurement of the comparative strength of the region compared to the national average. The Radius region’s LQ for manufacturing is 2.82, meaning that the industry cluster is 2.8 times more prevalent in the area than the national average.

“Indiana remains the top manufacturing state in the country. The reasons for the success are multifaceted; however a leading factor is because of the strength of the manufacturing sector in Southern Indiana. It helps drive Indiana’s economy through innovation and productivity. The new Radius Manufacturing Index will serve as a valuable economic dashboard to help guide future investment and growth,” said Brian Burton, president and CEO, Indiana Manufacturers Association.

The RMI also shows how the region is performing in comparison to the state of Indiana. Radius is nearly 1.6 percent times as manufacturing intensive as Indiana overall, and productivity rose 4.4 percent in the region compared to the state’s 1.5 percent increase from 2013 to 2015.

“Our company has a long history of manufacturing in the Radius Indiana region. We appreciate seeing this tool validate our belief in the manufacturing skills and capability that continue to define the regional workforce. It calls attention to what our customers tell us; the people in Dubois County and nearby communities are talented in designing, producing and delivering high quality and complicated products,” Lonnie Nicholson, vice president and chief administrative officer of Kimball International in Jasper said. “We are interested in seeing how this tool can help us track and forecast trends in the manufacturing sector, drive continuous improvement, and position our company as the employer of choice, the manufacturing industry as the career of choice, and the Radius region as the location of choice.”

Some components of the RMI did show a decline; the number of manufacturing establishments declined by one in the last quarter of 2015, falling from 350 to 349, and the five-year-average manufacturing wage grew at a slower rate than the previous year.

The raw number of the RMI is 57.5 for the end of 2015, which represents the total scores of the 12 factors included in the index. By comparison, the RMI score at the end of 2013 was 45.7 and 58.7 for 2014. The index figures for the state of Indiana followed the same pattern, growing from 43.6 in 2013 to 57.6 in 2014, and 56.6 in 2015.

“We developed this index to allow us to look at trends in manufacturing in the Radius region,” said Radius President Jeff Quyle. “We now have this new tool that will allow us to monitor changes in the manufacturing environment that have never been studied at this level. We will have the ability to adjust our economic development strategies to address market place dynamics.”

Radius will monitor the components of the RMI to watch for changes in the manufacturing industry, and to inform industry leaders and policy makers about the changes that occur. The RMI is the first of three indices being developed by Radius to help inform the region about its economic strengths.

ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of the region to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

Radius Indiana Takes Region to Site Selectors

BEDFORD, Ind. (Oct. 19, 2016) – Radius Indiana economic development leaders took information and insights about their southern Indiana region north for a day as hosts of an educational session in Indianapolis with 10 site selectors from six companies. The October session is part of Radius’s 2016 outreach program to raise awareness about the business strengths and opportunities in the eight-county region.
The leaders from southern Indiana gave informative presentations to business advisors, showcasing available sites and buildings in the region, as well as the demographics and the quality of the workforce that powers the existing businesses in the eight counties. Site selectors also learned about other regional assets including Crane Navy Base, the I-64 and I-69 corridors, and the proximity of the region to Louisville, Bloomington and the French Lick and West Baden resorts and casino.
Former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, who serves as the Radius Indiana senior advisor, welcomed the site selectors to the meeting. Radius President Jeff Quyle, other Radius staff members, and six economic development leaders from Daviess, Dubois, Lawrence, Orange, Martin, and Washington counties joined Skillman to discuss the latest news about the regional economy.
“The audience was very receptive to our message,” Tim Kinder, executive director of Martin County Alliance said. “These types of face-to-face encounters let us tell our story about our communities much better than emails or advertisements. As the site consultants asked questions about the region, we were able to share information directly, which gave them more awareness of our communities than they had when they walked into the meeting.”
The Indianapolis site selector event is the latest in a series of visits Radius Indiana has facilitated on behalf of the eight-county region in 2016. The outreach efforts this year have connected Radius communities with business advisers and site consultants in Evansville, New York, Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh – the group also has one remaining trip scheduled for Columbus, Ohio in the coming weeks.
“These site consultants help companies from all around the United States who are looking nationwide, in some cases, for locations for new business developments,” Quyle said. “Now they have information about the Radius region and our economic development programs, and they also now know the names and faces to contact when there is an opportunity.”
Representatives from the region’s counties have taken an active role in the Radius outreach program this year, and plans are already underway to schedule more site selector events for 2017 as a regional team.
“The local leaders do a very good job of presenting information about their community assets to these business advisers, and they also expand their own network of contacts who they can work with on an ongoing basis,” Quyle added.