Tag: News

Entrepreneurs, inventors and start-ups invited to participate in second royalty-free pitch competition

BEDFORD, Ind. (April 8, 2021) – Entrepreneurs, inventors and start-ups can pitch innovative proposals to southwestern Indiana defense and economic development industry leaders on June 23 at Radius Indiana’s second annual “Crane IP Defense Innovation Pitch Competition” with royalty-free IP. 

The competition offers unprecedented, royalty-free opportunities to commercialize the patented technologies and concepts developed at Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division, Indiana’s only federal research laboratory. Individuals or teams are invited to develop an innovative proposal for one of the intellectual property areas selected for the competition.

“Our desire is that businesses and entrepreneurs will be able to make use of these technologies, which will ultimately lead to job creation and economic growth,” said Jenna Dix, technology transfer director at NSWC Crane. “The engineers and scientists at Crane create valuable technology to help the men and women who protect our nation, and we would love to see this technology be applied to increase innovation in our communities.”

The competition is hosted by Radius Indiana, in coordination with Elevate Ventures, Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division, Indiana Innovation Institute, and the Indiana Small Business Development Center. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders from these organizations, and cash prizes totaling $7,000 will be available to the top three contestants. Additional prize funds will be available for competitors with locations in the Radius region of southern Indiana. 

“Radius continues to make important investments in small business and entrepreneurship,” said Keeley Stingel, vice president of innovation and economic development at Radius Indiana. “The continuation of the pitch competition and the strength of the relationships between our partners positions our region and defense ecosystem to attract top talent and emerging technologies.”

Virtual informational sessions given by NSWC Crane’s Technology Transfer program on April 29 and May 11 are available for participants in advance of the competition. The sessions will provide an overview of available technologies and highlight opportunities for engaging with Crane, and include an introduction to Crane’s IP portfolio. Participants can also receive individual coaching sessions through the resources of Elevate Ventures and ISBDC. 

“Pitch competitions give entrepreneurs valuable feedback, new connections, and increased confidence ahead of future ventures,” said Hunter Hawley, the winner of Radius Indiana’s 2019 regional pitch competition and CEO of Blueprint Stats. “Radius delivers all three in this event, and the environment is fun, supportive and competitive.”

The competition is free for participants. Entrants will receive a template to create a slide presentation for the competition. 

The registration deadline is June 1, 2021. Visit www.radiusindiana.com to learn more and register for the competition. 

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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 NSWC Crane: NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.

About Elevate Ventures: Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

About Indiana Innovation Institute: IN3 (Indiana Innovation Institute) works with academia, industry, and government to create a hub of national security innovation that helps solve critical defense priorities. IN3 connects regional, state, and national partners through a variety of means including convening research and business teams to solve emerging technical challenges for the Department of Defense. IN3 is focused on hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics, artificial intelligence and 5G. Learn more at www.in3indiana.com and follow us on Twitter @IN3indiana and LinkedIn.

About Indiana Small Business Development Center: The Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources. To learn more about you can access free resources through the ISBDC network, visit us at www.isbdc.org

Radius region sustains economic recovery throughout COVID-19 pandemic

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 23, 2021) –– Many community members are surprised to observe that economic growth has continued to take place over the course of the COVID-19 era, including in the Radius Indiana region — growth that was aided in part by investments made by the Radius organization. 

Radius has invested over $4.4 million in its eight counties to support infrastructure, quality of place, and overall economic development improvements since 2016. Radius’s Regional Impact Fund, the state’s only deal-closing fund that supports area growth and expansion efforts, served as an additional incentive to make several regional projects possible. 

“Radius aims to take a truly regional approach by investing in local businesses, infrastructure projects, and quality of place throughout our eight counties,” Radius President and CEO Jeff Quyle said. “We’re proud of the resiliency our communities and businesses have shown over the past year. This sustained growth demonstrates the potential our region has for economic success, especially when the pandemic is over.” 

In December 2020, Indiana’s unemployment was 4.3 percent, the lowest unemployment rate of any of the state’s immediate neighbors. The average unemployment rate for the eight Radius counties was 3 percent. The impact of the pandemic struck the Radius counties unevenly. Defense and manufacturing-dense counties saw a very slight increase in unemployment over the course of the year, while counties with tourism-dependent economies suffered more significant job losses. 

Yet by the end of 2020, the region’s resilience was evident: the regional unemployment rate in December 2020 was only 3.4 percent, below the state unemployment rate of 4.3 percent and the national rate of 6.7 percent.

Additionally, 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. The survey also found that 77 percent of employers are planning pay raises in the next 12 months. 

Radius Indiana’s recent investments in infrastructure, economic development, and quality of place include: 

  • Sewer extensions;
  • Improvements at local airports;
  • Building refurbishments;
  • Water retention and detention improvements;
  • Workforce training for defense industry contractors; and
  • Downtown developments.

“Radius’s continued support of Washington County and our neighbors have played a crucial role in sustaining our economies,” said Justin Green, who represents Washington County on the Radius board. “Their investment, specifically in infrastructure and economic development throughout the region, has created jobs and opportunities that have prevented larger unemployment rates.” 

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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.

 

Economic and community development, financial experts discuss housing strategies at Crawford County virtual summit

LEAVENWORTH, Ind. (March 17, 2021) — Local leaders from the economic and community development fields and financial experts shared strategies for improving area housing at the Crawford County Economic Development Corporation’s (CCEDC) first-ever housing summit on March 17. 

“As we look at the overall conditions in our community, we want to face the challenges with honest and open dialogue and information with great data from our studies,” Michael Thissen, executive director of CCEDC, said. “We’re grateful for the leaders who spoke at the summit who are committed to Crawford County and our region’s prosperity.” 

The virtual summit was part of Crawford County’s initiative to improve local infrastructure. Over 40 community members attended the event, which was sponsored by First Savings Bank. The webinar explored the current state of the rural housing market and analyzed the components needed to build housing capacity, including quality of place, transportation, and addressing rental disparity. 

Tina Peterson, president and CEO of Regional Opportunity Initiatives, presented Crawford County-related and regional results from ROI’s recent Housing Study during the summit. The study showed that Crawford County is one of the region’s most rural counties and has some of the lowest home values. 

Other speakers at the summit included: 

Topics ranged from the impact of COVID-19 on housing and regional economic development and how new housing benefits communities, to other resources for increasing residential development. 

“This housing summit offered a good opportunity for a wide variety of Crawford County residents to become involved in making decisions about meeting future housing needs,” Quyle said. “The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation brought in some very informative speakers, and they were very transparent and inclusive in their work to share this start of a process to work on the housing needs of the county.”

CCEDC is looking for individuals to join its first-ever housing task force to advance housing initiatives in the county. Those interested should contact CCEDC at info@selectcrawfordcounty.com. Formal invitations will be sent on March 31.

Watch a full recording of the webinar

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About CCEDC: The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation serves Crawford County, Indiana, for business, entrepreneurship, and workforce growth and builds capacity for quality of place. Its mission is to grow a prosperous Crawford County, together. 

 

Registration Now Open for Fourth Annual Radius Indiana Economic Development Conference

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 17, 2021) – Radius Indiana announced today that registration is now open for its fourth annual regional economic development conference for community leaders.

Attendees at the two-and-a-half-day Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program will participate in educational sessions on relevant topics, including quality of place, strategic planning, site development, and business finance and incentives. The course, which will take place June 9-11 at the French Lick Resort, will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Orange County guidelines for social distancing to keep all attendees safe. 

“After a year of virtual meetings and conference calls, we are excited to get back to face-to-face economic development education,” Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, said. “Radius continued to grow its economic development education opportunities in 2020, and our team looks forward to sharing these opportunities with our community leaders. And because we’re seeing an increase in the number of leads, and signs of strong economic growth, it’s timely and relevant for our local leaders to become well-versed in how to support local economic development.”

Speakers from state agencies, site selection companies, secondary education institutions, and financial firms will share best practices and offer perspectives on local and regional economic strategies. Topics are focused on the day-to-day functions of economic development and are designed to help leaders keep the needs of economic development at the forefront of their efforts as they return to their daily responsibilities. Confirmed speakers and subjects for the course will include:

  • Jim Plump – Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation, Introduction to Economic Development;
  • Carol Rogers – Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Data Profile for Your Community;
  • Olga PogodaKRNLS, Coworking Spaces and Maker Spaces;
  • Matt Eckerle – Baker-Tilly, Business Finance and Incentives;
  • Wendy Dant Chesser – One Southern Indiana, Strategic Planning;
  • Michael Wilcox – Purdue Center for Regional Development, Quality of Place;
  • Chelsey Manns – Manns Consulting, Real Estate Development; and
  • Christian Blome, Vincennes University Jasper Campus, and Michi McClain, Regional Opportunity Initiatives – Workforce Development.

Radius plans to make several scholarships available from its own office as well as area utilities for community members from the region who would like to participate in the program. Local Economic Development Organizations and those interested in attending are encouraged to contact the Radius Indiana office to learn more about scholarship opportunities in their area.

Registration for the Radius Indiana Economic Development for Community Leadership Program is now available at www.Radiusindiana.com or by calling 812-277-9778. Registration for leaders in the Radius eight-county region is $425, and $475 for those who live outside the region. The registration page includes a link and promotional code to book a hotel room at the French Lick Resort for the conference days.

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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.

 

Radius Indiana introduces small-scale manufacturing program to the region

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 15, 2021) — Radius Indiana and South Central Indiana Small Business Development Center will introduce a program focused on bringing small-scale manufacturing to downtown areas in the Radius region.

Recast City is a national economic development program aimed at building strong local economies and creating new opportunities for community members. The Town of Orleans, Town of Odon, City of Washington, City of Salem, and City of Loogootee will participate in a 12-month Recast City cohort beginning March 16 to learn about downtown revitalization. 

“The Town of Orleans has a beautiful Town Square with several buildings that are empty, and with the Recast programs’ leadership, we hope to find a suitable match with a potential small manufacturing client,” said James Clark, president of the Orleans Town Council. “We look forward to seeing the opportunities and growth Recast City brings to the community.”

The program is made available through cost sharing between Radius and Indiana SBDC. The Indiana SBDC funding is made possible by the Small Business Administration and comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which provides financial relief to small businesses affected by the impacts of COVID-19. 

In small-scale manufacturing, a community of businesses works together to produce tangible products that may be sold to customers. The program is aligned to assets in each community, which can support enterprises from a microbrewery, to coffee roastery, to candle making. The program will impact a minimum of four enterprises as the communities implement their strategy to have a small-scale manufacturer in their downtown areas.

According to the SBA, over 99 percent of businesses in Indiana are considered small businesses, and 1.2 million jobs are supported by small businesses.

The Radius region is home to over 6,000 small businesses, approximately 80 percent of all businesses in the eight counties. Small businesses employ over 35,000 workers, accounting for 40 percent of the region’s jobs.

“The Recast City program demonstrates the resiliency that exists within each of the communities in the Radius region,” said Keeley Stingel, vice president of talent attraction and retention for Radius Indiana. “Rural communities are often left out of economic recoveries, and this program is a ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ approach that shows that when we all work together, economic prosperity is possible. We’re excited to see the resulting business enterprises in downtowns throughout the region.”

To learn more about Recast City, visit www.recastcity.com.

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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.

More than 140 companies in Radius region eligible for newest economic revitalization opportunity

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 10, 2021) — Approximately one out of every six ‘Stage 2’ business establishments in the Radius region are potential candidates for Radius Indiana’s newest community and economic enhancement effort.

The recently introduced effort is Radius’s first economic gardening program, which embraces the fundamental idea that entrepreneurs drive economies by creating and supporting communities’ existing companies. It is part of Radius’s larger community development initiative, which includes the Quality of Place guidebooks released in 2020, the upcoming Recast City program, and the Intermediary Relending Program.

“Economic gardening gives local companies the strategic information and resources they need to increase job growth and develop their workforces,” Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, said. “We believe that giving our people and businesses this extra support to accelerate their growth will contribute to long-term economic development and increase the quality of life in our communities.”

The program focuses on supporting local companies that fit the ‘Stage 2’ criteria for economic gardening. Out of approximately 5,000 established businesses in the Radius region, over 840 companies meet the selection definition; Radius further targeted specific criteria to identify 142 businesses that appear to be appropriate initial targets for economic gardening. These qualifications for entrance into the program include:

  1. For-profit, privately held company;
  2. Non-metropolitan;
  3. Employ 10-99 people;
  4. Generate annual revenues of $750,000 to $50 million;
  5. Maintain its principal place of business in Indiana for at least the previous two years; and
  6. A commitment to innovation.

Radius has partnered with the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) and local economic development organizations in the region to carry out the program. Currently, companies in Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, and Orange Counties are participating.

“Purdue’s economic gardening program has helped us gain insight into a couple of markets that we are looking to enter,” said Alex Barnes, president of WF Meyers, an Indiana-based supplier of stone-cutting tools that participated in the program. “This has helped us gain a better view of the competitive landscape and has given us a lot of things to consider. We also have some more immediate steps we can take by improving our online presence.”

The initiative provides 35 hours of strategic business consulting, including search engine optimization research and other relevant data. PCRD received funding from the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist Indiana-based companies as they navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Primary growth in communities comes from existing businesses,” said Shance Sizemore, CEO of the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council. “Economic gardening is another tool for us to use to grow business retention and expansion in our counties. There is a great opportunity to help existing companies take the next steps to be successful.”

Interested companies should contact their local economic development organization to learn more about economic gardening.

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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.

 

Radius Indiana hosts tour of Washington shell building

BEDFORD, Ind. (March 5, 2021) — Radius Indiana introduced local elected officials, community leaders and economic development organizations to the process of building a shell building on Wednesday during a Lunch and Learn event in Washington in partnership with the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. 

Shell buildings are basic structures, built as an economic development investment to attract businesses. Growing companies often choose locations with a shell building because it can be quickly customized to meet the company needs and allows them to get products to market faster versus having to construct a building from the ground up.

“The Lunch and Learn provided a great opportunity for local leaders to find out how a shell building can attract new businesses to their community,” Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, said. “It’s good for our counties to share these experiences and lessons so that we can support each other in community developments. The interest and attendance at the event proved that our community members are ready and excited to grow their local economies through new initiatives. If we have multiple available buildings in the region, our chances of attracting more clients will increase dramatically.”

Approximately 40 people, including representatives from each of Radius’s eight counties, attended the event at the Gasthoff Amish Village, which was sponsored by Smithville, the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, AT&T, and CenterPoint Energy. Radius followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for social distancing to keep all attendees safe. 

On behalf of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation, I am grateful for the opportunity to highlight our community’s shell building and cross-dock facility as well as explain the process that our local leadership followed to bring the project to fruition,” said Bryant Niehoff, executive director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. “Our hope is that the event has sparked interest in investing in such projects across the Radius region to advance our competitiveness on a larger scale.”

Dan Zuerner, vice president of Garmong Construction, presented information about Garmong’s history of erecting shell buildings, and what local organizations can expect during the development process. Ron Arnold, Daviess County Commissioner and former executive director of the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation, focused on the lack of available buildings in southern Indiana and the importance of partnerships within the economic development industry.

Chad Sweeney, senior principal of independent economic development leader Ginovous, joined the meeting remotely to discuss the benefits of a shell building to a potential site selector client and the importance of existing buildings in a community.

Susan Vaughn from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation shared statistics of the top trends in project leads for Indiana in 2020, including:  

  • Over 90 project searches were conducted in 2020;
  • More than 50 percent of selectors searching for sites preferred an existing building;
  • Of the requests for an existing building, almost 50 percent of them were interested in a building with between 26,000 and 100,000 square feet.

Yasuhiro Ito, president of M&C Tech, discussed the benefits of locating in Washington and why the community made sense for the automotive industry supplier’s new location. The Japanese-based company was initially drawn to Washington for its shell building but ultimately decided on a different location nearby.

The event ended with a tour of the shell building in Washington. Washington Mayor David Rhoads and former Mayor Joe Wellman joined the group to answer questions about the construction process and the decision process for developing the building.

The 40,000 square foot shell building, which is available for purchase, was completed in 2016 and is located off the Washington exit on Interstate 69. The building has access to rail and a 32-foot ceiling at the eave. Please contact the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation to learn more about the building.

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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.

Crawford County aims to improve area housing through virtual summit

LEAVENWORTH, Indiana (Feb. 24, 2021) — The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation announced today that registration is open for its first-ever housing summit on March 17, focused on improving area housing and future initiatives for the county.

“Housing is a critical part of growing the value of Crawford County,” CCEDC Executive Director Michael Thissen said. “Our county serves as the gateway to southern Indiana, and gives great access to both the Louisville market and French Lick. We hope that the housing summit will demonstrate the value of living in Crawford County and help us develop strategies for improved housing options that will encourage more families to move here.”

The summit’s focus on market-rate housing is part of Crawford County’s initiative to improve local infrastructure. Speakers from the economic development field, financial experts, and local groups involved with housing projects in other areas in southern Indiana will offer perspectives on local and regional housing strategies. 

Organizers encourage business leaders, employers, elected officials, developers, real estate professionals, policymakers and area residents from Crawford as well as other counties across Southern Indiana to attend the virtual event, which is sponsored by First Savings Bank. 

Crawford County is one of the region’s most rural counties and has some of the lowest home values, according to Regional Opportunity Initiative’s recent Regional Housing Study. The study reported numerous challenges that must be overcome in the region to facilitate a housing market that meets demands and supports growth, including significant pockets of low housing quality, infrastructure costs that defer development, and inconsistent building codes or permitting systems. 

Tina Peterson, president and CEO of Regional Opportunity Initiatives, will present additional Crawford County-related and regional results from ROI’s recent Housing Study during the summit. Jacob Sipe, executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, will discuss the state’s housing strategy and IHCDA programs. 

“I look forward to sharing the results of ROI’s study with community members, as it shows that areas of our region are logistically ideal for housing development,” Peterson said. “Living in less-crowded, greener areas is growing more appealing, and with the current low-interest rates, this is a great time to work toward some of the strategic goals laid out in the study.  We believe that the Indiana Uplands is well situated for housing growth and applaud Crawford County for taking a proactive approach.” 

Registration for the Crawford County Virtual Housing Summit is available at www.selectcrawfordcounty.com. The free event is scheduled for 9 a.m.-11 a.m. 

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About CCEDC: The Crawford County Economic Development Corporation serves Crawford County, Indiana, for business, entrepreneurship, and workforce growth and builds capacity for quality of place. Its mission is to grow a prosperous Crawford County, together. 

 

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.

Radius Indiana and Vincennes University Bring Upskilling Program to the Region

BEDFORD, Ind. (Jan. 19, 2021) — Radius Indiana is working with Vincennes University to bring a new industry-inspired training program for manufacturing called Catapult to the Radius region in spring 2021. The program will be housed on the Vincennes University Jasper Campus and take advantage of VUJC’s support. 

Radius and VUJC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize their collaborative goal to establish the Catapult program on the VUJC campus in order to create innovative training programs that can enhance the skills of members of the population seeking to enter the manufacturing workforce. 

The initiative stems from Radius’s strategic plan, which includes Workforce/Talent Attraction and Retention as a major focus for the southern Indiana economic development organization. The concept for this program was inspired by the Georgia Quick Start program, which is often used as an incentive to bring new companies to that state.

“Radius is committed to workforce development and attraction for economic development purposes. Training programs for new manufacturing plants are one of the most sought-after business incentives used in the United States, which is why Radius and VUJC are offering Catapult to allow our region to better compete with other states,” said Radius President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “The Georgia Quick Start program is the example we hope to follow for our region and we aim to provide work-ready employees to new companies the first day they are in need of them.”

The Catapult program provides training to help individuals become skilled and educated in modern manufacturing production. Catapult is based on employee training programs developed in Japanese auto assembly plants in Indiana. Experience shows that employees who graduate from Catapult have a much higher retention rate in their jobs than new employees who are new to manufacturing who don’t go through Catapult, according to Conexus Indiana, a major supporter of the program.

Existing manufacturers in the Radius region, such as Kimball Electronics, will also have the opportunity to hire the graduates of the course, providing an advantage to the existing local businesses.

“With the ongoing challenge of finding a skilled workforce, Kimball Electronics is proud to partner with VUJC to launch the Catapult Production Training program,” said Kimball Electronics Human Resources Manager Sue Habig. “Our hope is to provide the skills necessary to secure a rewarding career at Kimball Electronics through the Catapult program to those who may have never considered a career in manufacturing previously.”

Enrollees in Catapult are paid an hourly wage while they are enrolled in the four-week-long course, providing income while they are students. This allows people who are in low-income jobs living paycheck-to-paycheck to afford to take the training and move into higher-wage manufacturing jobs after they graduate.

All eight Radius counties will be able to offer the use of Catapult to train employees as an incentive for companies looking to expand or build new facilities in the Radius region. Dubois County is very manufacturing heavy, and Catapult will help upskill and supplement the productive capabilities of persons seeking employment in manufacturing firms in the region to fill jobs in the area and surrounding counties.

“Catapult production training is an innovative approach to not only skilling-up Indiana’s manufacturing workforce but also engaging a whole new segment of the population into this critically important pipeline,” said Vincennes University Jasper Assistant Vice President and Dean Christian Blome. “VUJC is proud to partner with several community leaders including Radius Indiana to bring this ground-breaking opportunity to Southern Indiana.” 

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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.