Hot Air Blowing in From the West…Along With More Jobs

You’ve got to hand it to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. In April, the first term Republican generated headlines and raised the ire of Hoosiers when he vowed to “rip the economic guts” out of Indiana. Rauner’s rant was prompted by high profile efforts by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to lure companies from The Land of Lincoln with advertising campaigns including "Illinoyed" and Stillinoyed."

So far this year, 7 Illinois companies have decided to move to or invest in Indiana, representing combined commitments of nearly 1,000 jobs. Expect more corporate defections in the coming weeks. The latest, Bedford Park, IL-based Hoist Liftruck Mfg., Inc. said “Illinois couldn’t compete,” as it announced plans to add 500 jobs and expand a majority of the company’s operations to a vacant industrial site in East Chicago.

While Rauner’s April threat was little more than hot air, at least he showed some semblance of a backbone in trying to stop the flow of business out of Illinois. He has also proposed an economic turnaround plan that includes significant workers’ compensation reform.

The fact is, Illinois companies are burdened by onerous tax and labor laws and worker’s compensation rates among the highest in the nation.  In an April Chicago Tribune piece on Illinois manufacturers fleeing for neighboring states like Indiana and Wisconsin, veteran Illinois Statehouse reporter Scott Reeder noted, “Illinois factory jobs are vanishing faster than emails on Hillary Clinton's computer.”

For our neighbors to the west, it’s going to take a lot more than cheap talk to turn things around.

  • Most Popular Stories

    • The Vogue opened as a movie house in 1938, then reopened as a nightclub in 1977. (Picture Courtesy: The Vogue)

      Tech Vets Purchase Popular Indy Nightclub

      A group of Indianapolis tech entrepreneurs has bought a popular nightclub in the city's Broad Ripple neighborhood. High Alpha co-founder Eric Tobias and former MOBI executives Scott Kraege and Andrew Davis say they will retain the Vogue's current staff to manage the venue's day-to-day operations. The new owners say they will detail plans to reinvigorate the Vogue through enhanced fan experience and engagement in the coming months. Tobias, Kraege and Davis purchased the Vogue...

    • 2019 'Stellar' Finalists Announced

      Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch has unveiled the finalists for the 2019 Stellar Communities Program. The four regions selected will receive a planning grant and work with the Indiana Communities Institute at Ball State University on project alignment and continued planning efforts. Stellar Communities, launched in 2011, is led by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and aims to boost community and economic development and promote local and regional partnerships.

    • Bona Vita's projects in Indiana include the Logansport Hospital Cancer Center and YMCA facilities in Fort Wayne and Kokomo.

      Architecture Firm Opening Fort Wayne HQ

      Bona Vita Architecture will this afternoon officially open its new downtown Fort Wayne headquarters. The company says the move will allow it to add about 15 jobs, more than doubling its current headcount. The architecture firm will hold a ribbon-cutting this morning at 10:30. The company invested more than $100,000 to renovate the building. "This new location will not only facilitate fantastic visibility for our company, but will also allow us to double our workforce in an area...
    • Skilled Nursing Facility Proposed for Merrillville

      A new $7 million skilled nursing facility is being proposed in Merrillville. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the development would include five residential buildings outfitted with 12 beds, a dining area, beauty salon and spa. 

    • Former Museum Building to Get New Life

      The former home of the Vigo County Historical Society and Museum will continue to serve as a tourist destination. The Sage Mansion in Terre Haute, which housed the museum for more than 60 years, has new owners who are planning to redevelop the property into a bed and breakfast.