updated: 1/17/2012 5:59:12 PM
An eight county economic development group in southern Indiana plans to focus on manufacturing, commercial defense, tourism and education during 2012. The targets were outlined during the annual meeting of Radius Indiana. Chief Executive Officer R.J. Reynolds says the group help support more than $194 million in new investments and the creation of more than 500 jobs in 2011.
January 17, 2012
FRENCH LICK, Indiana – “We’re seeking to build on last year with new deals, jobs and investments for our eight-county region,” said R.J. Reynolds, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, at the regional partnership’s annual meeting January 17. The eight-county partnership supported local economic development organizations (LEDOs) in the region as they scored a total of $194.3 million in new investments and created 539 new jobs in 2011. “As a region we’ve set our sights even higher for 2012,” he said, noting that an expanded focus on area tourism with the French Lick Resort and new opportunities with the $2 billion Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) at Crane would help drive that potential growth.
Dan Hasler, Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), presented the keynote address of the meeting. “Indiana has a great product [for economic development], but our brand image and our brand awareness is lagging,” he told the group of business professionals and government leaders, noting that the state had set a new record in 2011 for the number of economic development deals conducted.
In his 31 years of marketing experience at Eli Lilly, Hasler found that brand awareness often followed high performance of a product. “We need you to help tell Indiana’s great story and build that brand,” he said.
IEDC remains focused on attracting jobs that will increase the average wage earned by Hoosier taxpayers. “We can’t go backwards on that,” he said.
During the meeting Reynolds outlined four areas of key growth focus for Radius Indiana in 2012: manufacturing, commercial defense, tourism and education (including workforce development). He said that the region now had eight shovel-ready sites, “which makes it easier when approaching site selectors.”
The new Radius Indiana Regional Impact Fund was established in 2011 and the partnership expects it to grow and offer opportunities to leverage state, federal and private funds, according to Ken Sendelweck, President of German American Bancorp (Private Banking and Wealth Management Division), who is returning as Chairman of Radius Indiana.
The regional partnership has commissioned the development of a formal eight-county asset map, which will help position and market the region to site selectors and relocation professionals. The project is expected to be completed by mid-year, whereupon it will be “extensively used as one of our tools,” Reynolds said.
Given that Radius Indiana began serving as the primary point of contact for the WestGate @ Crane Authority (which oversees the WestGate @ Crane Technology Park) in 2011, the regional partnership plans to expand and strengthen its commercial defense relationships in 2012.
It is also seeking to support and create opportunities for a proposed Battery Innovation Center (BIC) in the region, which “will spearhead energy storage development for many defense and other applications,” Reynolds said. Radius Indiana and NSWC Crane also plan to work closely together to support the 50,000 sq. ft. WestGate Academy when it opens later this year.
“Radius Indiana is helping the eight counties it serves to better grow together as a region,” said Sendelweck. “The combined assets are formidable from an economic development perspective.”
ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA – Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana is a regional partnership representing eight counties in south central Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. The partnership also serves as a primary point of contact in Indiana for the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division. The partnership’s mission is to advance the economy of the South Central Indiana Region by: generating high-quality employment opportunities; diversifying the region’s economic base; and raising the standard of living for residents of the Region. To accomplish the mission of Radius Indiana, the partnership works diligently to develop and support the customized resources businesses need to successfully locate or expand in the South Central Indiana Region. The vision of Radius Indiana is to create a dynamic network of private and public partnerships that works together for the benefit of all. For more information, please visit www.radiusindiana.com. For media inquiries, please contact Michael Snyder at The MEK Group at 317-805-4870 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Radius Indiana