Madison County Makes Play For 50k Jobs

Posted: Updated:
ANDERSON -

The executive director of the Madison County Corp. for Economic Development says the organization is turning to "purposeful" marketing in an attempt to pursue business and jobs. Rob Sparks says the ambitious Venture 69, a partnership with Pendleton-based Anderson Creative LLC, aims to attract 50,000 new jobs to Madison County over the next 35 years amid what he calls "stiff" competition along the I-69 corridor. Sparks tells Inside INdiana Business the pitch will emphasize the county's quality-of-life.

He says the biggest challenge will be a familiar one to community leaders throughout the state: work force development. Sparks says the county has lost some 27,000 jobs as major manufacturers like General Motors moved out during the last three decades. The area has started getting some of those jobs back in recent years with the location of operations from foreign-owned businesses like NTN Driveshaft North America, Sirmax North America Inc. and Greenville Technologies Inc. to Anderson. Sparks says the pitch to potential locators domestic or foreign domestic is relatively the same. "Certainly references are still a big key: can we do business here? Can I get through the permit process? What's it going to cost us to operate? Can I get a ready work force, with work force becoming the number one single issue? There's a lot of dirt anyplace throughout the country you could put a business." He adds real estate and infrastructure demands also play a role.

Sparks says the area offers a lot to potential new employers. "We try to say we've got a work force within that 30-40-mile radius of the communities here on this corridor where you can find everything from general labor jobs, clear up to PhD and advanced degree program people that can handle engineering and such."

Sparks says recent studies from Indiana University project the population of central Indiana to grow by 700,000 by 2050 and he wants the area between exits 215 and 245 on I-69 to get a piece of that action. He says a planned widening of the roadway between Noblesville and just south of Anderson will also help the cause.

Sparks says the Venture 69 effort will continue to unfold and the area is in a good position to meet its marks for reasons including partnerships with local schools, the potential to capture "peripheral" jobs in growing areas like nearby Hamilton County and increased attention from national leaders like President Donald Trump to bring manufacturing jobs back the United States.

  • Perspectives

    • 2019 Economic Development Wishes For Indiana

      As we begin a new year, most Hoosiers are filled with hope and optimism for their families. Economic conditions continued to improve in 2018 and the outlook for 2019 is positive. There is much hard work ahead, but our state's leaders have proven that they can tackle major challenges and look to the future. Here are my top economic development wishes for Indiana as we begin a new year...

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Danny Tanoos (photo courtesy of our partners at WTHI-TV)

      Former Superintendent Charged With Bribery

      The former superintendent of the Vigo County School Corp. is facing bribery charges in Marion County. Our partners at WTHI-TV report Danny Tanoos, who currently serves as the director of safety and security for the district, will appear in court Wednesday morning. 

    • Thousands in Elkhart For Major Industry Showcase

      An annual event that attracts some 4,000 professionals in the recreational vehicle dealer industry is underway in Elkhart. The Elkhart RV Dealer Open House, which bills itself as the largest show of its kind in the world, runs through Thursday. Some 30 manufacturers will be showcasing their products at events in their own facilities or elsewhere throughout the area. During an interview last month on a special Elkhart-focused edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick...

    • Red Line Rapid Transit Project Progressing

      As construction continues on the high-profile, $96 million Red Line Rapid Transit Project in central Indiana, the director of public relations at IndyGo says ongoing, system-wide investments are already bearing fruit. The first phase of the Red Line will run between Broad Ripple and the University of Indianapolis and the public transportation organization says it will "serve as the frequent spine of the improved and reliable grid network." Lauren Day says ridership...

    • Big Defense Contracts Awarded to Indiana Manufacturers

      Two defense industry manufacturers in the state have received contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense. Rolls-Royce Corp. in Indianapolis has secured a nearly $17.6 million modification to a contract involving engines and components and Raytheon Co. in Fort Wayne will provide work including sensor electronics and antenna technology as part of a more than $14 million contract The Rolls-Royce contract calls for procurement of...

    • (photo courtesy of the University of Notre Dame)

      Notre Dame Endowment Pool Rises Again

      The University of Notre Dame says its endowment pool ended the fiscal year in June with $13.1 billion, up from $11.8 billion the previous year. Chief Investment Officer Scott Malpass adds the pool saw a slight decrease in its return at 12.2 percent.