updated: 9/9/2011 12:58:54 PM
The lack of skilled Hoosier workers to fill open positions throughout the state appears to be prompting a Delaware County operation to lower its hiring goals. The Economist is reporting Progress Rail Services, which is a division of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), will only hire 250 workers by 2012, instead of the initially-announced 650. The skills gap experienced by Progress Rail is being repeated at manufacturers in other locations of the state, including Lafayette-based Wabash National Inc. (NYSE: WNC). Chief Executive Officer Dick Giromini discussed the issue during a recent appearance on Inside INdiana Business Television with Gerry Dick.
Attempts by Inside INdiana Business to contact Progress Rail officials have not been successful.
State incentives were tied to the company's initial hiring announcement about one year ago.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered up to $4.5 million in performance-based tax credits and training grants based on the job creation plans. The IEDC also funded $1 million in infrastructure improvements in Muncie and assisted the company in applying for a $1 million federal grant.
In an email today to Inside INdiana Business, the IEDC says final agreements with Progress Rail are pending and it can't comment further.
Officials pointed out the agency's incentive packages are performance-based so companies can't receive the tax benefits until they've verified through tax records that new employees have been hired.
Source: The Economist, Inside INdiana Business