Tag: Indiana

Annual Radius Indiana economic development course returns to French Lick Resort

BEDFORD, Ind. (June 17, 2021) — The annual Radius Indiana economic development course at French Lick Resort concluded last Friday, graduating 44 community leaders from 15 Indiana counties. 

Participants in the Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program attended educational sessions on topics related to local economic development, networked with other community leaders, and built skills in strategic planning and community problem-solving.

“After conducting all of our events virtually for the last 15 months, it was special to get to host this course again and see so many new and familiar faces,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “This year’s program exceeded my expectations with a record number of participants and I continue to be blown away by how motivated and dedicated our local leaders are to continue furthering their economic development education.”

The program is the only course of its kind to be offered in the southwestern-Indiana area. Since the first course in 2017, nearly 140 people representing 25 Indiana counties have gathered to learn from national and regional speakers about topics and skills including real estate development, business attraction, workforce, marketing, business finance and incentives, and entrepreneurship.

This year’s course’s registrants included mayors, city, town and county representatives, engineering consultants, economic development professionals, utility representatives, and marketing specialists.

Now more than ever it is vital for community leaders to support the economic development initiatives in our region,” said Cindy Barber, an educator from the Purdue Extension Community Development who participated in this year’s course. “Through this program, Radius elevates the most important elements needed for economic prosperity by introducing the major players in Indiana to leaders & elected officials.

Course speaker Brittany Mann, vice president of incentives and location advisors at Bradley Company, joined two panels during the course to discuss site selection and marketing in economic development.

“I really enjoyed this year’s conference and the opportunity to share best practices from my own client site selection experiences,” said Mann. “Radius Indiana is helping leaders in their community put their best foot forward by sending them off better educated on what economic development is and how to best plug into the ecosystem by offering continual trainings through its annual economic development conference.”

Other sessions and speakers included representatives from economic development groups and consultants including Regional Opportunity Initiatives, local universities and university-led groups, state-run organizations, and finance companies.

Corporate sponsors and scholarships helped fund the program, including generous support from Hoosier Energy, Smithville Fiber, Duke Energy, and Indiana Municipal Power Agency.

Those interested in attending a Radius Indiana course in the future should contact the Radius office at 812-277-9778.

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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 Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

Indiana Defense Task Force combats potential losses of military assets

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana

 

Indiana’s well-established military presence includes commands at Naval Support Activity Crane, the Grissom Air Reserve Base, and a distinguished state national guard with six critical assets. These commands support 14,000 soldiers and airmen, who are located in 52 counties across the state. The Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) process was implemented in 1988, and the Department of Defense (DoD) repeatedly reduced its investment in Indiana’s military assets as part of that process. 

The Pentagon dollars that increased over the last four years could soon be harder to obtain. Many politicians are calling for a return of fiscal conservatism, and the Treasury will feel the full impact of COVID-19, both the stimulus and its cuts to paychecks and income taxes soon. 

In light of cuts to the Pentagon, potentially 10 percent or more in future years, defense communities should plan for various scenarios. Impacts from a defense budget reduction could include: 

  • Any military program not in existence prior to the previous administration will be subject to close review and re-justification. The number of aircraft to be purchased will be reduced, lot buys pushed out, recapitalization delayed, satellite constellations deferred, and ship keel-laying slowed because of budgetary pressure and/or shifts in defense prioritization. 
  • State-of-the-art technology pursuits like hypersonic weapons, autonomous combat vehicles, and artificial intelligence will be hampered. Legacy programs will be retired, while new acquisitions with lesser effect on service requirements will be canceled. 
  • When the Pentagon sees these types of budget cuts, military leaders typically ask for another round of the BRAC, a nonpartisan process that shutters military bases and consolidates missions to save money and increase military value. The last time the Pentagon closed bases was 2005, and other states came out as winners. 

The state must make a significant effort to avoid additional significant losses of our military assets. In 2019, the Indiana State Legislature established the Indiana Defense Task Force to accomplish the following tasks for Indiana’s military bases: 

  • Identify the public infrastructure and other community support necessary to improve mission efficiencies and for development and expansion; 
  • Identify existing and potential impacts of encroachment; 
  • Identify potential state and local government actions that can minimize the impacts of encroachment and enhance the long-term potential; and
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration among the state, including the military department of the state, political subdivisions, military contractors; and academic institutions to maintain and expand the missions. 

This move by our legislatures recognized changes that could occur in the future defense landscape. We applaud the Indiana State legislature for recognizing that the coalition that fights for Indiana’s military assets must grow, and grow stronger. 

Radius Indiana wage and benefits study reports regional employers anticipate hiring in the next year

BEDFORD, Ind. (Feb. 8, 2021) –– Many regional employers expect to add workers over the next 12 months, according to Radius Indiana’s second regional survey of wages and benefits in southwestern Indiana. 

“Businesses and industry in southwest Indiana are competing for workforce talent,” said Ed Cole, president of Dubois Strong, Dubois County’s economic development source. “The Radius Regional Wages and Benefits Survey provides employers the information they need to remain competitive.”

The 2020 Radius Indiana Wages and Benefits Survey gives local companies up-to-date, real-world information about the labor market in the Radius region compared to the state of Indiana and the United States. Seventy-six firms participated in the survey, contributing compensation data for 14,640 employees across 63 occupations, in addition to information about insurance and other benefits. 

“Wage and benefits surveys provide us the means to compare and analyze our compensation packages with other companies in the local market,” said Laura Kessens, Human Resources director for MasterBrand Cabinets in Jasper. “Remaining competitive in compensation allows us to attract, motivate, and retain employees.”

Whorton Marketing and Research, a consulting firm that conducts industry and membership research, conducted the survey in September and October 2020, and Dubois Strong sponsored its completion. No employee names or other personal information were reported to Radius in the production of the report.

“This survey is an important way for Radius and the local economic leaders in our counties to serve private businesses in our communities,” said Chris May, director of Manufacturing and Workforce Services for Radius Indiana. “Delivering timely and accurate information to the manufacturing sector allows those companies to be alert to changes in the labor market. We want to deliver tools like these, and in the future we want to build even better and stronger relationships with our local employers so that we can become more responsive to their needs.”

Among the survey’s findings: Average salaries for positions including office managers and material managers in the Radius region were below state and national averages, according to the report. Internal auditors and construction managers in the region earn between the state and federal levels, while sales managers/supervisors and chief information officers earn a higher mean salary in the Radius region than the state and national averages.

The survey also reported: 

  • Employers planning pay raises in the next 12 months: 77 percent; 
  • Average number of employees added in the previous six months: 30.7 employees; 
  • Average number of employees laid off in the previous six months: 27 employees; 
  • Mean salaries for engineers rose by 12.56 percent compared to the 2018 survey findings; 
  • Assembler mean salaries grew by 8.38 percent during the same period; 
  • Forklift/Equipment Operator mean salaries declined by 0.2 percent in the two-year period. 

“The local business sector and the local economic development professionals in the Radius region have worked together to develop this survey, and it is a very tangible example of the way economic development organizations can be used by their local businesses to deliver a service and a tool,” Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle said. “We look forward to finding more opportunities like this to help our businesses be successful.”

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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 Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

ElectriCom Expands Headquarters, Adds 22 Jobs in Paoli

Radius Indiana’s Regional Impact Fund and Indiana Economic Development Corporation Incentivize Expansion

Paoli, Ind. (Aug. 13, 2020) — ElectriCom celebrated its expanded headquarters and growing workforce with a ribbon cutting today at its office facility located on Hospital Road in Paoli.  The project was supported by a Radius Indiana Regional Impact Fund grant of $88,739 and state IEDC incentives totaling $350,000.

ElectriCom provides utility construction services to power and communication clients in addition to gas distribution, right of way clearing and storm team response.  Founded in 1960, the company has additional offices in South Carolina, Florida and Texas. With nearly 800 employees, including 300 in Indiana with 126 in Orange County and nearly 80 from Paoli, ElectriCom is the second largest employer in the area. 

ElectriCom is rapidly growing and its new office space will accommodate 22 additional employees by 2022 in accounting, contract administration, human resources, IT and executive leadership. The company’s $800,000 investment includes multiple improvements at the now 13,230-square-foot headquarters, including a new executive office wing, new accounting and contract offices with 16 new workstations and a kitchen for employees as well as a 17,000-square-foot expanded parking area and upgraded site infrastructure.

“After 60 years of growing and being headquartered in Paoli, we are very pleased that the local and state officials and economic development organizations assisted to make staying in Paoli the most economical option from a business perspective.  Our desire was always to stay headquartered in Paoli, but we looked at other options such as Louisville, Kentucky and possibly one of our other offices across the country.  The incentives made the business decision match our heart-felt desire to stay in Paoli,” said Kevin Mason, president of ElectriCom.

The ElectriCom utility construction services also help to promote economic development through its work, which helped it secure the grant from Radius Indiana’s Regional Impact Fund. “ElectriCom provides critical infrastructure to new and established sites across our region and beyond that helps secure business development and create new jobs,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “We are pleased that the Regional Impact Fund could help with this important investment to grow a local company.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered ElectriCom up to $280,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. The IEDC also offered up to $70,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired.

“Thanks to homegrown Hoosier companies like ElectriCom, Indiana continues to build on its reputation as one of the best states in the nation to do business,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. “We’re grateful for ElectriCom’s continued investment in Orange County, and we remain confident that the state’s skilled workforce will contribute to the company’s growth and success for many years to come.”

Locally, the Orange County Economic Development Partnership and Town of Paoli have supported the expansion.

“As one of the largest employers in Orange County, ElectriCom is an example of a company that understands and values the community where they are headquartered. They have been great community partners both through the services they provide and through civic community involvement. We are proud to have been a part of this success story and look forward to continuing working with ElectriCom and value them as an asset to our community,” said Zach Brown, executive director of OCEDP.

“I am thrilled that ElectriCom decided to retain and expand their business in Paoli, and the fact that they are creating more jobs is greatly appreciated,” added Brian Shipman, president of the Paoli Town Council.

From left to right: Bob Breeden, Executive VP; Kevin Mason, President; Russ Breeden III, CFO; Craig Moore, Senior VP

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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 Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

About the Regional Impact Fund: The Regional Impact Fund is a sub-organization of Radius Indiana with the purpose of making investments in public and private organizations that advance regional economic development strategies. The Regional Impact Fund is a deal-closing fund that makes such investments in the form of grants, loans, equity investments, or other such vehicles deemed to be in the best interests of Southern Indiana. The Regional Impact Fund gives high priority to projects that include job creation, site development and expansion.

 

About ElectriCom: ElectriCom was founded in 1960 in Paoli, Indiana, by Phil Brown to provide construction services to Power and Communications clients. Since our inception, we have added divisions for Gas Distribution and Right-of-Way Clearing and have provisioned our resources and people to respond quickly in Storm Team situations. Its mission is to build utility infrastructure to improve the quality of life in communities.

Discover Southern Indiana Unveils New Ice Cream Trail

BEDFORD, Ind. (July 30, 2020) — Discover Southern Indiana introduces a brand new Ice Cream Trail that takes tourists on a sweet, 250-mile adventure through eight counties in southern Indiana. The trail consists of 14 locally-owned ice cream shops and encourages visitors to experience something new at each location.

At each stop, visitors receive a stamp on an official Ice Cream Trail “passport.” Those who complete the trail and fill up their passport will receive a free t-shirt commemorating their experience. Interested participants can visit any of the Trail’s stops to pick up a passport, or download one from the Discover Southern Indiana website. A map of the locations is also available to help plan your route.

Discover Southern Indiana, launched earlier this year by Radius Indiana, is the first region-wide tourism drive of its kind and gives an identity to the opportunities, attractions and events for tourists visiting Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Martin, Lawrence, Orange and Washington counties.

“The goal of Discover Southern Indiana is to promote tourism in our eight-county region,” said Radius Indiana Director of Tourism and Quality of Place Blaine Parker. “The Ice Cream Trail just launched in mid-July and is already outperforming our initial expectations. It’s proving that people want to get out and explore, and have fun doing so.”

The Ice Cream Trail allows visitors to see and experience charming rural communities that are all located within a compact portion of southern Indiana, allowing for an easy, ‘one-tank’ trip that doesn’t require families to travel long distances.

The trail includes stops at:

  • Jiffy Treet | Linton, Greene County
  • Yoho General Store | Solsberry, Greene County
  • Let It Snow Creamery | Odon, Daviess County
  • Bo Mac’s Drive-In | Shoals, Martin County
  • Zax Creamery | Jasper, Dubois County
  • Windmill Chill | Holland, Dubois County
  • The Happy Hive | Marengo, Crawford County
  • Stephenson’s General Store | Leavenworth, Crawford County
  • French Licks | French Lick, Orange County
  • Superburger | Paoli, Orange County
  • Dairy Bell | Mitchell, Lawrence County
  • Jiffy Treet | Bedford, Lawrence County
  • Little Twirl Dairy Bar | Livonia, Washington County
  • Six Scoops | Salem, Washington County

To download a passport and start the trail today, visit http://discoversouthernindiana.com/icecreamtrail/.