Tech Jobs Lead Strong Year For Indy Region

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Michael Huber is president and CEO of the Indy Chamber. Michael Huber is president and CEO of the Indy Chamber.

The regional business attraction arm of the Indy Chamber says the tech sector led the way for economic development growth in 2016. The Indy Partnership reports the region saw $1.2 billion in capital investment and 11,100 new jobs in 2016, with one in three being in tech.

The chamber cites several tech jobs announcements in 2016, including Salesforce adding 800 jobs, Octiv adding 225 jobs and Braden Business Systems adding more than 90 jobs in Fishers. Overall, 27 projects accounted for more than 3,300 tech jobs in the region.

"Indy continued to build a more innovative economy in 2016, and it shows clearly in our attraction and retention successes," said Michael Huber, chief executive officer of the Indy Chamber. "Our best is yet to come: We’ve only begun to implement the ‘Accelerate Indy’ strategy, focusing on high-skill talent and a high-tech business climate, and restructuring regional economic development to be more competitive."

However, the chamber says the advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors also played a key role in the region's economic development last year. Nearly 1,000 new jobs came from 23 manufacturing projects and nearly 3,000 logistics jobs were announced, including Arizona-based Knight Transportation's (NYSE: KNX) plan to add 426 jobs in Plainfield.

"Roughly 60% of all new jobs tracked by the Indy Partnership last year came from IT and logistics," said Huber. "It shows that we need to focus on our high-tech future and continue to capitalize on fundamental assets like our central location and multi-modal transportation system. That’s why a long-term solution for infrastructure funding is high on our public policy agenda, alongside issues like education and entrepreneurship."

The Indy Partnership says the 11,089 job commitments in 2016 were slightly ahead of the previous year. Maureen Donohue Krauss, the chief economic development officer for the Indy Chamber hired in September, says a more effective, comprehensive approach to economic development could spur bigger numbers in 2017.

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