New Network Showcases Wabash Valley Defense Opportunities

Posted: Updated:
(Image courtesy of the Indiana National Guard.) (Image courtesy of the Indiana National Guard.)

The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce is making a push to capitalize on defense industry assets and opportunities in the region. The organization has launched the West Central Indiana Defense Network, as task force that will focus on talent attraction and economic development. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chamber Vice President Kristin Craig discussed what she says are military, industrial, educational and land advantages throughout the Wabash Valley.

She said the six-county region is well-positioned to gain a larger share of what defense can offer. "Our collective workforce, our collective industry, our collective utilities, and really, the other thing is our collective quality of place," she said. "So when you put all of this together and really look at us as a region, I think somebody stepping back can say 'wow, this is a great area and no matter where we locate within the region, there's going to be opportunities for us."

Key military assets in the region include: the ?181st Intelligence Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard, 81st Troop Command of the Indiana Army National Guard), 159th Military Police Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserve, the IANG Field Maintenance Shop, Maple Avenue Armory and U.S. Marine Reserves. The region is also home to four colleges: Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Saint-Mary-of-The-Woods College and a branch of Ivy Tech Community College. A website,, has launched detailing these assets, as well as existing industry and properties open for development like the 10,000-acre Hoosier Jack Mega Site, 7,200-acre Vermillion Rise Mega Park and acreage at the Terre Haute Regional Airport.

Chamber President David Haynes says "in an effort to both support and elevate the military assets in the West Central Indiana, community leaders are working collaboratively to create a plan of action to both protect and develop the defense asset industry in Terre Haute and the entire West Central Indiana region. Recognizing defense development is a complex industry and working alongside the state of Indiana on collaborative marketing and outreach enhances our region’s ability to be successful."

ReTec Corp. President Greg Gibson and Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. President Steve Witt will co-chair the West Central Indiana Defense Network.

Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Vice President Kristin Craig said the six-county region is well-positioned to gain a larger share of what defense can offer.
  • Perspectives

    • Startup Spirit Fuels Growth

      As the South Bend - Elkhart Region celebrates a $42.4 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., we know that the work to make the best investment with it is really just beginning. The spirit of entrepreneurship has been a vibrant part of our region for decades and the story of our family company could be somewhat of a guidebook for the region as it ventures forward. ITAMCO began as a dream of my uncle Donald Neidig and my father Noble Neidig to have their own business.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • The Waterside project aims to transform 100-acres of the former GM Stamping Plant site. (photo courtesy of Ambrose Property Group)

      Ambrose, Glick Partner on Waterside

      Indianapolis-based Ambrose Property Group has announced a key partnership for the redevelopment of the former GM Stamping Plant in downtown Indianapolis. The commercial real estate firm is teaming up with the Gene B. Glick Co. to build and manage apartments as part of the $1.4 billion mixed-use redevelopment project. Ambrose says the partnership is also part of plans to catalyze "philanthropic and community-centric strategies to strengthen Indianapolis." The firm also...

    • NIBCO is headquartered in Elkhart. (photo courtesy of NIBCO)

      Companies Detail Closures, Layoffs

      Four companies have announced plans to lay off a total of nearly 300 employees. In separate notices filed with the state, the companies say the moves will affect workers in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Charlestown and Peru.

    • (Rendering provided by the city of Fishers.)

      Flexware to Break Ground on Headquarters

      Fisher’s based engineering servicing firm, Flexware Innovation Inc., will break ground Thursday on its new headquarters the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater. The $3.5 million project will feature a 35,000-square-foot office building with 12,000-square feet of office space for Flexware and what it calls “a build-to-suit area” in the remaining space. 

    • (rendering courtesy of Brightmark Energy)

      Construction to Begin on Plastics-to-Fuel Plant

      California-based Brightmark Energy will today break ground on its $260 million plastics-to-fuel plant in the northeast Indiana town of Ashley. The 112,000-square-foot facility, which the company says will be the first of its kind in the nation, is expected to create 136 full-time jobs when fully operational. The plant will use a state-of-the-art process to recycle plastic waste that has reached the end of its useful life, including items that normally cannot be recycled, such as...

    • Photo courtesy of Lafayette Elementary School

      Hammond to Close Three Schools, to Cut Jobs

      The  School City of Hammond board has voted to close three schools and cut 130-150 positions. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report Columbia and Lafayette Elementary schools, and the Miller School will close after this school year.